If you are into hiking, hunting or just exploring wooded areas, you may have come across a bend tree that has a 90 degree angle. If you have ever seen this, start looking around. They are Trail Trees.
Those bent trees have a meaning. According to the American Forest website, those bent trees are a trail marker for Native Americans to show safe passage; they are called Trail Trees.
History on these trees is Native American used to take smaller trees and tie them down, so they would grow in direction that would point travelers in the direction of safe food, water or important landmarks. These are permanent trail markers that can still be true today.
If you look closely there are details that will help you notice if it is naturally occurring or if it was man made. Look closely, you should be able to see the strap marks from where the tree was strapped down as a sapling. Sadly, these kinds of trees are now 150-200 years old and they are most likely coming to the end of their lifespan, which makes finding them even more exciting. At this point, there are a little more than 1,000 strapped trees all over the country. If you want to find them, check out the Mountain Stewards website.
If this is interesting to you, I wouldn’t wait too long, as these trees will be dying off soon and American history could be gone, when they die.