Building with Cedar on the Trail
There are many attributes of the Western Red Cedar that make it the “cornerstone of northwest coast Indian culture,” like its natural resilience against rot. This makes it a great resource as a building material on our nature trails.
A cedar tree fell along one of the roads near Alderbrook last winter, which we gleefully used to build the French drain seen in the photograph. The purpose of the feature is to get the spring water from one side of the trail to the other without getting your feet wet.
We started by stripping the bark off the log because the bark holds in moisture and speeds up the process of decay. We then used a chainsaw attachment to mill the wood into dimensional lumber. Next, we slapped together the lumber and filled it with dirt for you to walk on. The last step was to put river rock in the drain for the spring to flow through.
Now that you’ve seen a glimpse of how some trail features are constructed, you can appreciate the Western Red Cedar the best way we know how... by going on a walk in the woods.