Not sure what you local native materials might be. You can use boulders insets for a natural look. Or possible treated timbers, or flag stone stair treads
Depending on the grade and soil. I am not familiar with UT but carving out dirt for steps and placing flat rocks works really well. Shore up the front of the steps with 2x6 pressure treated boards...they will last for years and years and are easy to replace. If you have stable soil, you may not even need this. Grasses like border grass can be used to hold soil in place. If it is really steep, set some plumbing pipe in concrete for posts topped with an open "T" fitting and run rope through it for a railing.
Clay, clay, and more clay as well as really rocky is my soil. It is a pain to plant in.
Jeanette has some good ideas. It's also common to use railroad ties instead of the 2x6 boards.
This is not going to be a one day project and all it takes is some preplanning, prepurchasing, the right tools and a lot of work and patience! Depending on the slope, you can make turns and work your way down a hill by laying a slab of stone, then lay the second one at a different angle. You are only limited by the distance. But no matter what you do, be sure you make each step (riser) the right height (7")...this is a MUST or you will just be asking for trouble. Put in a railing! Top soil with fertilizer used for planting any grass in will give you a fantastic, care free start. Mondo grass works great!
Steve, we recommend not using the RR ties as they deteriorate very rapidly. We do a lot of work for folks replacing them after they have been in 7-10 years. My sister almost lost her leg when one in hers rotted. It turned over when she put her foot on it, sending a piece of rebar through her calf muscle, which quickly set up gangrene. We will only install the 6x6 treated timbers for either retaining walls for treads
large rocks or stepping stones dug into the ground, can either go stright or can make it curve.
Get some aluminum edging from Home Depot and create your design. It comes in brown or green in 8 and 4 ft. sections and can be bent and shaped into curves. Works great see my post above.
Railroad ties work great, I used them before
I am working on same type project. Trying to make my path look like a dry stream bed. One thing I learned early on....start at the bottom!
Interesting. Thanks for the expert advice on railroad ties, Four Season. I like the look and I assumed they lasted a long time, but once again, I guess I must learn not to assume.