I'm living on the edge of the woods and so would like to do things that don't conflict with it. I love this walkway idea for patio/walkway but have no idea what the materials are. It looks like river rock embedded in something, not cement.

Also, I really like these stairs and being as I have a minor slope in two parts of the back yard, would like to put some of these in also but have no guess as to the underlying structure needed to support the treads. I live in NH so they'd have to come through tough winters, even if they weren't in use through the winter.

Any guesses at either of these would be greatly appreciated.