The Red Eft Story

Here at The Red Eft, we hand carve locally found wood into beautiful Hiking or Walking sticks. Pre-made or Custom it's up to you to decide!

My friend Kenneth Lowe had invited us to his home to celebrate with his wife who just graduated from AMC mountain school. So instead of the usual gift of a bottle of wine we would bring to party, I would bring a hiking stick to commemorate the occasion.


Earlier in the week, we had pulled a fairly straight birch stick out of a beaver dam in Nashua. It was a little chewed up but sturdy enough for a hike in any of the White Mountains 4000 foot peaks. Before I could present it, we sanded it down and I wrote this poem on it:


 This instrument only goes forward and only points to the sun. it follows a righteous path.

 This machine strengthens me when I am weak and gives me balance should I stumble. This Birch performs only noble acts, like cooling the forest floor, creating air and splitting seas.

 This implement will protect us from grievous jackals, wild dogs and all forms of facism. Like the shepherd’s staff, it comforts me.

 May the holder of this apparatus have love in their heart, and a song of their soul. Your name is written in the book of life.


 Ken’s wife loved the stick, as did many of his guests.

 After that day, I started making these sticks as gifts for all occasions. And now they come with words carved and in different themes and images.


 Today, people use these sticks as ornaments as well as for walking. It is truly a gift that will last forever. And they are a custom made item. We can put your philosophy, or whatever has meaning to you, on a piece of nature to accompany you on your journey through life.

 We try to put the type of wood it is as well as where the stick was found. We are hikers so we come across our fair share of winter blowdown. Each stick has its own story.



 A stick for the goal oriented hiker. This stick lists the forty eight four-thousand foot peaks of New Hampshire carved into a sturdy piece of wood. We can list them by height or alphabetically, with the height of each peak if you prefer.

Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago is a 600 mile hike across northern Spain popularized in the motion picture "The Way".  


Do any of you old hippies remember this piece of philosophy? It’ll be an instant conversation starter in any home.

Autumn Leaves

A beautifully detailed stick with many species colorfully carved into a stick to any size that you choose. These make great ornaments to any home.

New Hampshire Stick

This stick has the “Old Man” carved into it and it’s not falling off!  There are so many points of interest in the Granite state; they’re all on this stick, as well as important historical events and people associated with New Hampshire.

The Boston Stick

The Boston Stick has all the important people, places and events associated with Beantown. From our major sports teams to Boston Common to Faneuil Hall. It't all there on a 4 foot piece of wood. 

Appalachian Trail Stick

The Thru-Hikers backpack just got lighter. There's no need for a map if you own this stick. The AT is carved into the wood from Mt. Katahdin to Springer Mountain, Georgia with important sites highlighted along the way. Our best seller!

Boy Scout Stick

The perfect gift for an Eagle. All things Boy Scouts are listed on the stick. The scout's name and achievements would look great here. 

   Our custom hiking sticks are functional, durable, and things of great beauty.  I like to say: ”god makes the wood and I do the rest.”.  Each stick has its own story: where it was found and what type of wood it is.  Each stick is numbered and signed by the artist. You will also find a reference to a bible passage on each stick dealing with things like pathways, walking, staffs etc;. We chose the Red Eft as our name and logo because the red eft (sometimes referred to as the red spotted newt) is the state amphibian of New Hampshire. Our sticks have accompanied hikers as far away as The Camino de Santiago in Spain, and are sold at the Mountain Man Toy shop in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

   My favorite sticks to make are the ones with a personal touch to them. Like the stick I made for my friend, Sebastien Rubiero. He was going to retire and planned to hike the Camino de Santiago. We designed the stick together and got it ready as a retirement gift to himself. Upon his return, he emailed me the details of adventure. He said the stick serve him well. As of this writing, we are designing another stick.

About Dave Essensa

   Hi, I’m Dave Essensa, hiker, environmentalist, and repurposer of New Hampshire Trees. I’ve been hiking the forests of New Hampshire for the last thirty years slowly chipping away at the goal of traversing all the 48 four thousand foot peaks in the state (26 down and 22 to go). I, and some friends have been participating in “Flags on 48” for the past seven years. My daughter/hiking buddy hike to one of the high huts of New Hampshire each July. And if you stopped by the Red Eft booth at the next craft fair; we’re very willing to have an enthusiastic conversation on hiking.

Events & Craft Fairs

Saturday, November 23rd

Yuletide Fair

9am - 3pm

Cooperative Middle School, Exeter NH

Sunday, November 24th

29th Annual Craft Fair & Pie Festival

10am - 3pm

Greenland Central School, Greenland NH

Saturday, December  7th

47th Annual Holiday Craft Fair 

9am - 3pm

Pine Grove School, Rowley MA


(603) 686-3182

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