The clients' number one request for this wooded back yard: a trail to walk their dog. More specifically--an accessible trail, a simple loop, so they could enjoy their daily walks in the forest below their SW Portland home. This would be no easy task, the owners knew, as their efforts to enjoy that woodland were thwarted by a long and deep slope.

Our solution, which I credit to a close collaboration with the contractor (Joy Creek Nursery's landscape division), involved steps of two different designs, switchbacks, and one section that was engineered almost as a bridge. Paths were built as "cuts" (as opposed to "fill"), as this is far more stable in terms of slides.

All path surfaces are gravel, which drains perfectly and makes the walk dry throughout the year. To overcome the daunting task of wheelbarrowing rock and gravel down the 50' elevation drop, clever feats of delivery by shoots was engineered by the crew.