Cairns Project

A great outdoor activity

Around for centuries, the art of stone piling, otherwise known cairns, has been prevalent throughout the world. Thought to have   originated in Scotland, the meaning of the cairns is debatable. Some think they were used as grave markers, others as a means of keeping the dead under the ground. Modern cairn builders have different and clearer motives. Some hikers use cairns to mark a trail, while mountain climbers bring a rock down from on-high as a token to Mother Nature at the end of their journey.

Hiking trails, rivers, creeks, and sometimes your own backyard, are all great places to build cairns.

Start simple.  Remember it’s as simple as piling stones.  See how high you can go.

Once you get the hang of it, try using a variety of stone shapes and colors.

And for those who really want a challenge, there is the art of stone balancing.  Check out this link:

Step 1

Gather your stones.

Flat stones are easiest to start with.

Consider starting with a large stone and going gradually smaller as you pile up.

Step 2

Start building, have fun!




We’d love to see pictures of your cairns.  You can send them to — we’ll post them on our eARTS newsletter. 


Presented in collaboration with






Thank you to our sponsors

Title Sponsor                                              Orator

Three Rivers Corp                       Corning Credit Union