Dennis Downes has spent a lifetime learning about trail marker trees as well as the heritage and history of them. His deep respect for the Native American heritage and his life long passion for trail marker trees has led him down as interesting a path as the trees themselves guided Native Americans down long before GPS and maps were the norm in North America.
For the native Indians, trail marker trees let people know where the best landmarks. In some cases, the trees were bent in a way to stand out. Trail marker trees generally were extremely unique trees that stood out so that travelers would know where they were when they spotted them.
It was a very creative means of communication and way to find needed materials for survival as the trees pointed people in the direction of things like water or copper. Many of the trail marker trees still exist today and stand as a great testament to the skill and resourceful of those who came before us.