Ask a Question Any ideas for a backyard walkway?

Any ideas for a backyard walkway?

Tags: landscaping, hardscaping, outdoor, patio, paver


Hi all,

We're gearing up for some big outdoor projects at our house this summer, and one of the biggest will be replacing our horrid, old, cracked, sometimes-nonexistent back walkway. Check it out:

Our sad, pathetic back walk.

Why does it end there like that? Well, there used to be a humongous elm tree there that had to be removed due to to Dutch Elm disease (see the post about it here). 'Course, when that happened, it took out half the sidewalk too. 

So, I've been looking into all the 'hardscaping' options (no, I don't like that word either). Flagstone, pavers, stepping stones. Even a grass path. I've even heard of people using slices of tree trunks, pressure-treated. 

Any thoughts? Seen any really cool ideas lately? I'd love some inspiration!

Quick update: the YoungHouseLove guys just re-did their patio, and have some good tips:

Any other good blog posts I can look at?

I've been planning (haven't gotten it done yet) to make concrete tiles with leaf impressions in them - like when a leaf accidentally falls on a sidewalk . . . but intentionally - with lots of different sorts of leaves.

I'm considering an old-fashioned boardwalk, like they used in frontier towns, using recycled 2x4s. Hubby is not thrilled with the idea.

Hmm, Jeni, that sounds cool, but I wonder about how it would hold up to the weather (we're in Minnesota, and have pretty rough winters). Could you treat the wood somehow? Or maybe make some kind of a mold so you could make 2x4s out of concrete? Crazy?

I'm wondering if a boardwalk of sorts couldn't be created out of shipping pallets. Treated and stained, I think it would look rather nice. You'd have to make sure the pallets you got were consistent in how many slats were on them, though.

I really like the idea of faux concrete wood. You could stain it and use a braere (sp?) to texturise it. How would the concrete hold up? I do like the idea of upcycling the palletsthat would raise your path some also but might be super slick and the wood might leach some bad stuff into the ground? How about a path made of rosemary, it's eco-friendly and smells great when you walk on it you could add the leaf stones on top of it. EJ

Have no idea what the rest of your existing space looks like, however the thought of gathering some salvaged brick and doing a basket weave pattern then filling in the gaps with a foot friendly plant would seem to mix both hard and soft elements, while at the same time upcycling.  You might be able to find some cool bricks with a lot of history, upping the conversation factor.

Or even some old grates...really, depending on if you have a salvage yard at the ready, it could be very cool.

Personally, I love mixing medias like stone or metal and flora...there are beautiful thymes, like wooly thyme which has a gorgeous silvery cast to it.  Also interesting are native mosses-- you'd need to check your local area for an indigenous species that would grow in your climate.

Good luck and have fun!

i get this old house magazine and they had a problem just like this- but what they used was old bricks in decorative patterns. it ended up looking really cool.

I live just outside Washington D.C. and the colder winters made me reconsider how to fix our walkway leading up to the patio.  I had a deck builder come out and recommend Flagstone patio because the individual stones hold up better versus other delicate flat stone.  The only thing you'll have to be wary of is potential moss buildup over time, although as far as maintenance is concerned, a simple power wash or light scrub with soapy water will get rid of that.


We carved a half circle path with stepping stones in the middle of Timberline rock.  Two paths extend off this half circle, one goes to the bird feeder area and the other to our shed.  All three of our animals walk on the stepping stones, kinda funny.  Good luck with your project!

Thanks for the tips guys! FYI - I completed the walkway re-do last summer. Blog posts are here:

Here's what it looks like:

Actually it looks better than that now because the grass has had time to come in, but it's winter! Thanks for following!

Ask a Question Any ideas for a backyard walkway?