Went for a walk on NYS Forest Preserve Land last week in the snow. Found some of these cairns near the head of a hollow about half-way up the ridge from a stream. It seems these cairns are a topic of dispute or discussion these days. Were they stacked by Native Americans to mark something special–A grave-site, celestial wonder, etc. Or perhaps they were simply rocks stacked by industrious 19th Century farmers in the process of clearing fields for plowing buckwheat or other crops or improving their hayfield? There is a stonewall not far from these dozen cairns. I have also found these cairns away–but never too far–from agricultural stonewalls in other parts. It’s hard to say. Whatever the case, they are interesting to look at. After all these years, some of them are holding up well. There never seems to be just one but instead at least a dozen or so.  

May the Forest Be with You,


Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association