Top 70 Best Walkway Ideas – Unique Outdoor Pathway Designs
A well-crafted pathway is perhaps the first introduction to your home, guiding guests to your front door in a style that hints at what’s to come.
When designing a new pathway, your walkway ideas should flow with your home’s overall design scheme. A walkway to your front door must be welcoming and easy for your guests to navigate. The options abound, whether you are deciding on front walkway ideas or need to design the perfect garden path.
You can build many walkway ideas in a day or two without costing a fortune. Certain types of paths, such as a stone paver walkway, are easy for even beginning DIYers. If you have a concrete walkway in mind, you may still be able to do much of the work yourself—even if you haven’t worked with concrete before.
Your choice of outdoor walkway design is yet another place to honor your signature style. A beautiful front path can significantly increase your home’s curb appeal. When it’s time to sell, your small investment of time and money could reap big rewards. Enjoy this look through our favorite walkway ideas and see which ones might work best for your home or garden.
1. Brick Walkway Ideas
A brick pathway adds a touch of elegance to any type of home. Brick walkway ideas can materialize in casual or formal styles. Much like investing in brick for your home’s exterior, a brick walkway adds value to your property. Brick pavers are extremely durable and low-maintenance, but they can be expensive.
You can arrange brick walkway pavers in a wide variety of eye-catching patterns. Basketweave, herringbone, or running bond patterns look elegant. They’re also easy to walk upon. Mixing two or more masonry patterns and materials can turn ordinary brick into a work of art.
Bricks come in many different colors, textures, and sizes, allowing for creative options. If you’re on a budget and have a long path to cover, you can still use brick as an accent material. Edge a mulch or gravel garden path with artfully arranged brick pavers.
2. Gravel Walkway Ideas
A gravel walkway adds a casual feeling to your home or garden. It is also one of the easiest and least expensive walkway ideas to DIY. In most cases, you simply remove the sod, cover the ground with landscape fabric, and spread the gravel. Some types of gravel also require edging to keep the pebbles from escaping the path boundaries.
Your choice of edging material is one way to personalize gravel walkway ideas. You can purchase thin metal or plastic edging that forms a clean line between the crushed stone and your lawn. Or, draw attention to edges of your path by bordering the gravel with bricks or cobblestones. Edging material must contain smooth gravel, such as pea stone.
Create a beautiful walkway by combining concrete pavers and pea gravel or crushed gravel. Use gravel to fill the spaces around recycled wood, such as railway ties or pallet boards. It’s best to have your quarry or home improvement center deliver gravel and pavers, especially for long paths. Watch this video for tips on gravel DIY path construction:
3. Stone Walkway Ideas
Natural stone is one of the most beautiful materials available for creating an impressive walkway. Flagstone walkways leads the way to elegant homes around the world. You can cut flagstone into squares and rectangles. You can also leave it in irregular, organic shapes. You can purchase these in a surprising variety of colors.
Whatever their shape, stones can be fit tightly together, like puzzle pieces, for a smooth walking surface. Other stone walkway ideas call for gaps between each stone, with gravel or groundcover filling the spaces. These stepping stone paths are a popular DIY garden path option because of their organic beauty. Gravel or mulch can also cut the cost of creating a natural stone path.
Mosaic stone pathway ideas are some of the most intricate—and expensive—options for creating a walkway. They are, perhaps, the most beautiful of all options. It can be difficult to find a professional mosaic artist in some locations, and paying an artisan for his or her craft isn’t cheap. But you will end up with a real work of art that elevates the concept of a stone path to a whole new level.
4. Curved Walkway Ideas
While a straight pathway might be the best walkway idea for your home, a curved walkway is infinitely more interesting. In some ways, curved walkway ideas may be easier to execute because of their organic edges. However, to successfully lay a curved concrete or brick walkway, you must possess expert DIY skills. This is particularly true if your path leads up or downhill.
If your walkway ideas call for a curved path, you may have more freedom to use a variety of textures, colors, and materials. Because of the freeform design, you can combine materials in creative ways.
Feel free to combine wood planks with a pea gravel surround, accented with larger river rocks. This creates a path that seems to meander naturally through your landscape.
5. Paver Walkway Ideas
A paver walkway is perhaps the easiest way to mark where feet should walk. Premade concrete pavers are available at your local home improvement center. They come in nearly every natural shade and geometric shape imaginable. Concrete pavers generally range in size from around 10 inches to several feet wide.
You can also choose a paver made from natural stone. Granite, slate, limestone, quartzite, and travertine are some of the natural stone pavers available today. While they are more expensive than concrete pavers, they lend an elegance that concrete simply cannot duplicate.
Pavers stand well on their own, laid in a row or side by side. Or, your paver walkway may consist of individual pavers surrounded by pea gravel or mulch. Another option is to place the pavers directly in the yard so that grass surrounds each. If you choose this look, make sure you set the stones low enough to clear your lawnmower blades.
6. Concrete Walkway Ideas
One of the most widely-used walkway ideas is the basic concrete sidewalk. These walkways can curve, run straight, widen, or narrow. If you’re building a concrete patio, add a concrete walkway while the cement truck is there. You can jazz up the look of a plain concrete path by edging it with a brick or natural stone border.
If you lack the experience to DIY a smooth concrete surface, look into reusable cement molds. These forms usually hold one bag of quick-mix concrete, making it easy to do this project yourself. Some molds give the appearance of randomly placed individual stones. You can tint the concrete to accentuate your home’s exterior.
Stamped concrete is an option best done by someone with experience in concrete work. The plant applies texture, then a form stamps down to make lines resembling natural stone masonry. You can use a trowel to bevel each section’s edges for a more realistic stone appearance.
7. Simple Walkway Ideas
You can craft simple walkway ideas from any type of pathway material. Place concrete, natural stone, gravel, and wood in simple configurations. For a simple modern path, lay two sizes of circular concrete pavers between your driveway and your front door. For a more structured look, place a row of square or rectangular slate pavers in a straight line.
A simple walkway design is necessary if you want your landscaping or other elements of your outdoor space to stand out. To keep your walkway in the background, use natural colors and a simple configuration. Avoid combining several walkway materials or adding unnecessary embellishments to your pathway.
8. Wood Walkway Ideas
While wood is generally less durable than other walkway ideas, its natural colors and textures can make it a good choice. The wood’s rustic beauty is charming, leading to a beachy cottage, Craftsman home, or rustic cabin. Wood is also a lovely way to enliven a garden path, with its warm neutrality contrasting against brilliant green foliage.
Use standard wood decking to make a simple wood walkway leading to your front door. You can also use a composite product that will last longer than natural wood while providing a similar look. You don’t need to complicate a great backyard garden path. Lay wooden discs sliced from a large pine or oak like stepping stones through your yard.
If you are into green construction, look into recycled wood planks. You can also upcycle old wooden pallets or fencing planks into a custom DIY garden path. These types of wood coordinate well, filled with multicolored river rock gravel. It creates an earthy and rustic design statement.
9. DIY Garden Walkway Ideas
A great garden path idea should fit your budget, décor, and DIY skill set. Even if you don’t consider yourself a DIY expert, many of the garden path ideas shared here are good for expanding your skills. Just about anyone can lay a simple concrete paver walkway, or prepare a gravel path. In the backyard, you can practice without worrying about a perfect result.
Even if you decide to hire a mason to lay a brick or concrete path, there are still ways you can get involved in the work. You can clear the sod yourself, then finish the landscaping after the walkway’s completion. Talk to your mason or contractor and ask if there are other tasks you can do to minimize his or her time on the job.
If you want to DIY from scratch, make sure you thoroughly research the best types of materials for your climate. Then decide how formal or casual you want your path to be. This video presents options for DIY walkways and explains what’s involved with path preparation. Watch and learn how to install a stone path yourself in just one day:
10. Walkway Landscaping Ideas
No walkway idea is complete without landscaping to accent its borders. A front yard or garden path can be its own work of art trailing through a simple grass lawn. However, most walkway ideas look best when embellished with plants that complement the décor.
Decorative or flowering grasses make beautiful borders, set in clusters along the way. If you already have mature trees and shrubs that you want to keep, weave your walkway around them. Be mindful that tree roots can eventually crack concrete. This can wreck your carefully-crafted path. If you’re landscaping from scratch, avoid planting trees too close to your walkway.
Flowers are always a welcoming touch along a path that leads to your door. Plant lilies and other bulbs that will return year after year. If you live in an arid climate, plant an assortment of cacti at strategic corners and curves. Use black mulch or white marble stones for extra contrast beneath colorful flowering plants.
Stone Walkway FAQs
What tools will I need to DIY a basic gravel path?
You can create most gravel walkway designs with basic tools many homeowners already have on hand. You can save time and frustration by making sure you have these tools before you get started:
- Straight-blade spade
- Garden trowel
- Garden rake
Note that gravel made of rounded stones will not tamp down. If you want a firm path, you must use crushed stone instead. If you have a long path, you may want to rent a vibrating plate-style tamper instead of manually tamping the gravel.
What is the fastest way to make a path between my driveway and front door?
A stepping stone walkway is usually the quickest kind to lay as there is little digging involved. Ideally, choose flat stone pavers, two inches thick and approximately 18-inches across. You can use natural stone or a series of 12-inch concrete patio blocks. This is also one of the least expensive walkway ideas because there is space between each stone; therefore, you’ll need less material.
What are the differences between the types of gravel used in walkway design?
Manufacturers label gravel by its size and the type of stone. Some of the most common types used for gravel paths include:
Crushed stone: As the name indicates, this the byproduct of smashed rocks. Its irregular shape and rough edges make it an excellent material for a natural stone walkway that gets a lot of traffic. This is because it tamps down into a relatively stable surface.
Pea gravel: Consists of small, smooth, rounded stones that have weathered naturally. It comes in a variety of colors or multicolored mixtures.
Marble chips: Pale, elegant marble chips are a lovely, albeit expensive, walkway material. They sparkle in the sunlight and require edging material to keep them contained on the path.
River rock: Also called creek stone, these semi-polished, rounded stones come from stream bottoms and river beds. They add a natural touch to your landscape design.