24 Backyard Pathway Ideas for an Outdoor Oasis

Add style and function to your yard, garden, or patio with a walkway that fits your landscaping style.

backyard garden

Edmund Barr

A backyard pathway not only creates a functional walkway through your outdoor space, it's also an integral landscaping design element. It offers the opportunity to play around with shapes, colors, and materials to add style and visual interest to your backyard. From a winding brick walkway to a modern set of square stepping stones, there are endless backyard pathway ideas to choose from.

When it comes to designing your backyard pathway, there are a few things to consider before you get started. There are many different materials to choose from, including brick, gravel, and flagstone—and they all vary in cost, style, and ease of DIY installation. Another factor to consider is the size of your outdoor space: Are you working with a tight space, or do you have trees and flower gardens you'll need to work around? Lastly, keep the style of your home's exterior in mind to ensure a cohesive look. To help you create your own functional and beautiful outdoor space, we're sharing our favorite backyard pathway ideas.

01 of 24

Gravel Walkway

backyard gravel path

Laurie Black

Instead of a straight gravel walkway, go for a staggered, geometric design. This not only makes the path itself look more interesting, it also provides plenty of nooks and crevices for potted plants, garden beds, and raised vegetable gardens.

02 of 24

Mix Materials

backyard garden with steps and pathway

Better Homes & Gardens

Building a backyard pathway offers an opportunity to bring in a variety of different materials to your outdoor landscaping. Here, a series of square stepping stones nestled in mulch leads to wood deck stairs for a modern look that's fitting with the succulents, ornamental grasses and trees.

03 of 24

Flagstone Path

stone backyard pathway through garden

Kindra Clineff

A flagstone path is always a classic and timeless choice. The cracks and spaces between the stones add a relaxed, organic look and the stone is easy to maintain. For extra definition, line the walkway with red bricks that pop against green grass and emphasize its shape with a border.

04 of 24

Narrow Backyard Pathway

backyard garden pathway leading to gray house

Bob Stefko

A narrow gravel pathway leads through lush, flowering landscaping and comes to an end where it meets a stone patio. Gravel is a budget-friendly option when it comes to backyard paths, and if you want to go the DIY route, it's one of the easier projects to take on.

05 of 24

Consider Stone Spacing

backyard garden with stone path

Marion Brenner

If you leave space between stepping stones in your backyard, it will allow grass to grow between them, allowing each individual stone to stand out. This type of arrangement makes for a more natural look while maintaining the stones' distinctive shapes.

06 of 24

Layered Pathway

backyard patio

Jessica Sample

Large square stepping stones are layered in a grid pattern on top of small gray pebbles for color contrast and extra dimension in this contemporary outdoor space. The stones help define this outdoor seating area, separating the dining space from the fire pit corner.

07 of 24

Brick-Lined Gravel Footpath

garden with backyard pathway

Matthew Benson

To add definition to a gravel footpath and help keep the stones in place, line it with bricks. The mix of the two creates a more interesting, layered effect, emphasizes the path's twists and turns, and serves as a practical way to maintain the gravel.

08 of 24

Rock Garden Pathway

backyard garden

Edmund Barr

It's only appropriate that a modern rock garden filled with a stunning collection of succulents is accessed by a contemporary stepping stone pathway. When deciding on the type of walkway to incorporate into your backyard, think about the landscaping style (including the types of plants) to ensure a cohesive look.

09 of 24

Square Stepping Stones

cream house with grass front yard

Matthew Benson

A set of large square stepping stones provides a pathway through the front yard to this charming home's front door. The stone's clean lines and straight positioning line up with the front of the house for a neat and orderly appearance.

10 of 24

Flagstone Patio

black house with stone patio

Emily Followill

A flagstone-covered patio spans the majority of the home's length and continues to a raised area accessed by four curved steps. The gray stone's natural look juxtaposes the exterior's black siding and its curved design leaves space for mulched pockets with lush green trees.

11 of 24

Create Multiple Pathways

backyard garden path

Better Homes & Gardens

Create visual interest and provide multiple ways to enjoy your backyard by installing more than one pathway. This garden combines a wood deck, square stepping stones, and a winding gravel footpath with a variety of materials, colors, and shapes for a modern landscaping design.

12 of 24

Use a Variety of Stones

backyard patio with outdoor furniture

Laurie Black

Add function and style to your backyard by combining a variety of different stones to make up a pathway. Here, a straight gray flagstone path is surrounded by more organically laid out gray pebbles that lead to a gravel-covered seating area and a raised stone patio in the background. The unique mix of stone types and sizes gives the outdoor space extra dimension and effectively zones each area.

13 of 24

Add Definition with Brick

backyard garden with brick path

Matthew Benson

Besides providing a walkway, a backyard path allows you to add shape and direction to your outdoor space. For a less organic and more defined design, accentuate a curved or straight stone or gravel path by outlining it with bricks.

14 of 24

Play Around with Shapes

adirondack chairs in backyard

Caitlin Atkinson

Play around with different shapes and geometric designs when laying down a stone path. Here, a mix of limestone and black pebbles comes together for a contemporary look that's furthered by a cool oval-shaped fire pit and simple black fencing.

15 of 24

Brick Pathway

white tree in garden with stone path

Blaine Moats

A winding brick pathway offers different views of the backyard, creating little nooks and pockets of outdoor space to explore as you walk around. The footpath curves around a number of retaining stone walls that add height and dimension and highlight blossoming trees.

16 of 24

Stone Footpath

stone path in backyard to small house

Lincoln Barbour

An organically-shaped stone footpath leads to a charming playhouse in this magical backyard corner. When choosing a pathway, consider where it leads in order to determine what materials and design will best fit in with the surroundings.

17 of 24

Create Space

backyard stone pathway

Edmund Barr

A flagstone path gives you plenty of options, because you can change up the look based on how closely together you arrange the stones. The more spread out the stones are, the less of them you need, which cuts down down on cost. And if the stone path leads through grass, it allows for growth in between the stones, which can change the look completely. Lastly, the spacing can determine the design style, since a more spread out, organic path looks romantic and casual, whereas tightly arranged stones create a more formal aesthetic.

18 of 24

Backyard Charm

garden pathway

Rinne Allen

Large, irregular stones make up a charming path through this fairytale-like trellis that's surrounded by blooming flowers. If you want to create a cottage-like backyard design filled with an air of wistful nostalgia, you can't go wrong with this combination.

19 of 24

Simple Square Path

backyard with stone path

Dominique Vorillon

Precisely-laid stones create a walkway that lines the fence and leads to the gate in this small backyard. The size and shape of stepping stones you use gives you the flexibility and creative opportunity to create various designs, whether it's a simple square layout such as this, or a more elaborate pattern made up of smaller stones.

20 of 24

Keep It Organic

backyard garden with fence

David Tsay

Let your backyard pathway echo the free, organic nature of how plants grow by designing a free-flowing walkway. These stones are interspersed among grass and gravel and they spread out in different directions. The varying sizes create a mosaic-like effect that fits well with the aesthetic of this garden.

21 of 24

Add a Wall

backyard path to guest house

Laurie Black

A concrete wall lines this square stone pathway, creating height and showcasing flowers and plants at two different levels. The paving stones add a grid-like pattern that contrasts the organically blooming garden.

22 of 24

Oversized Stepping Stones

backyard garden with pathway

Marion Brenner

A series of oversized stepping stones lead to this front gate and make a way through a gorgeous succulent-filled garden. The wide stones mirror the shape of the wooden gate and their precise arrangement makes for great contrast when paired with the wildly different shapes and colors of the garden's succulents.

23 of 24

Gravel Backyard Pathway

white house with backyard path

Kindra Clineff

A circular gravel path creates a dramatic landscaping design in this luscious green backyard. Establish a central point, whether that's a special tree, a bench, or an island flower bed, and build a pathway around it to frame and highlight it.

24 of 24

Pebble Path

gray house with pebble path

Gabriela Herman

In this dreamy garden, a wide path made up of small pebbles provides a base for larger stones that lead to the back door. Repetition helps build a cohesive design, so try to use the same stones in other places, such as a border around the pebbles or a retaining wall.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles