Use what nature has provided to create a casual path.
1. Secure a supply of wood chips. If you or a neighbor has a chipper-shredder, stockpile chips for no more than a year (they'll start to break down). Or check with your city or county manager's office. Shredded wood chips are often available for little or no cost from local landfills as long as you haul them. Alternatively, if you have an ample supply of pine needles or tiny or crushed sea shells in your area, collect those to line the path.
2. For best results, excavate the soil to about one inch deep wherever you want to lay the path. This will help the wood chips from shifting. The path should be at least 18 inches wide for easy access; 36 inches if you'd like two people to walk next to each other.
3. Line the bottom of the path with several layers of newspapers. In a couple of years, they'll break down but in the meantime they'll prevent weeds from taking hold.
4. If desired and if they're readily available, use stones to line the path. They'll add a finished look and will also further prevent the wood chips from shifting.