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Picture of Log path cut into a hill

I live in a historic home along the Rocky River. For the past 9 years living in our home, we couldn't access the river due to the slope of the hill leading to it. We had a few trees come down this year with a heavy wind storm so I decided it was time to make a path, using the downed trees as the steps.I didn't want a path that looked commercial but something that blended in with the historic neighborhood and the character that it holds.

It took me 3 months to complete, all by hand. No excavator, No trencher, just hand tools, a chainsaw, and lots of sweat, and lots of bandaids for a cut that wouldn't stop when I tipped over a load of mulch.

I wanted my family to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the River on our property. Here is my journey.

Step 1: Clearing the path

Picture of Clearing the path

To start, I had to clear the hill of all the undergrowth. I cut up the downed trees, cleared the brush, and started cutting out all of the little shrubs and trees in the pathway. There were also a ton of old branches and brush from years past that I had put on the hill from other projects. That also got moved out of the way and piled on the sides.

The tree trunks were cut into 3 foot lengths where I could. The rest was chunked up into firewood size to be split. I did get a new safety helmet out of the build. My daughter is modeling it in the picture.

I used an axe, sledge hammer, and splitting wedges to halve the 3 foot logs for steps.

taderbill8 days ago
AAA+ Thanks for sharing. That’s a generational project. You guys will enjoy that walkway long after gone and we pray that that will be many decades from now. Well thought out. I’ve done projects like that for my kids, but I’m going to be 70 in a couple months, but you have inspired me to tackle more projects while I can! Thank You and well done! Tom
zfolwick12 days ago
did you start from the top and work down, for from the bottom and work up when placing the logs?
Haunted Spider (author)  zfolwick11 days ago
I had to clear the path top down but I started bottom up with the logs. Once one step was in place I could cut in the next at the correct height and depth. Plus I could use the cut out dirt/ clay to fill in around the log placed below.
EdM6312 days ago
Is it the Rocky River in the western Cleveland suburbs? If so, bravo sir... the soil around here is awfully clay-bound, so I'm sure it was 2x the effort. This is such a wonderful addition to your home that will be enjoyed for generations.
Haunted Spider (author)  EdM6312 days ago
It is. Olmsted Falls actually. Definitely a lot of clay. Even more rocks and roots. Here is to hoping it lasts a long time.
NormanC1612 days ago
That is awesome. I have a very similar hill and creek beside my house I wish to do that to. Being disabled makes it near impossible though. Nice work.
BrianK15012 days ago
This is really amazing! Congratulations.
solipsism21 days ago
could you have rigged up a dolly for the stairs? would be lighter
WUVIE1 month ago
What an amazing amount of work, but so very well worth the fantastic memories you've provided for the little ones. Great idea, fabulous Instructable!
I love this!! I wish I had a place to add stairs!
That also got moved out of the way and piled on the sides of
Arbormakes1 month ago
You deserve to win!
BrianM6062 months ago
Very nice work. I commend you on your dedication to the task and your workmanship. I'm sure your little helpers made the job a bit more enjoyable, and now you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. You have inspired me to get to work on my home, and to include my kids in the projects.
nattor662 months ago
Love this project! great work!
АхмедА2 months ago
Nice work and very good thanks
sarah051482 months ago
add my wow to the rest, great job. I did start thinking about digging out a swimming hole when you've recovered....... again,what a great job
JaneG572 months ago
Nice work! I used to love building hill paths in OH & PA. PA led down to a city recreational park. It was great with a pool! Kids can catch crawdads under stones in a mild current. Great on the grill! Grew up near Rocky River in Cleveland.
jessyratfink2 months ago
What a gorgeous area! You did so well with it. :)
Cheese Queen2 months ago
How do you keep the logs from being slippery? In our climate, they would soon be covered in moss and algae, making it a quick trip to the bottom in damp weather!
Haunted Spider (author)  Cheese Queen2 months ago
To avoid being slippery, I put stone between the steps so there woudn't be mud or standing water. You really step on the stone and the logs hold the stone in place. The faces of the logs can get slippery if it just rained but since the standing water is gone, it doesn't stay wet long. I also just purchased some 4x4s and am going to put a rope railing up just in case a little one loses their balance.
"the kids rode back up the hill in the container" that is unbelievable---dad of the year award to you!!
sparrland2 months ago
Your awesomeness takes my breath away. I can’t believe you never gave up. Someone said what a great gift to your kids. They were so right about that. And your whole family.
sabu.dawdy2 months ago
Great job. U deserve a win
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It was indeed a work out. Hence why it wasn't just a weekend project. :)
kc cabinite2 months ago
You sound like a dedicated Dad, your children are very lucky. You've created something that is beautiful and the many memories your children will take with them for the rest of their lives will be shared with there children. Well done.
Nick705872 months ago
That looks like a serious effort. Good job!
wibbel42 months ago
Great project!!!
Sweet!!!And creative!
nithinreddy1 made it!2 months ago