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Walkways

Walkway Width Matters

Considerations for determining the best width for a garden path

  • Curved Walkway, Red Brick Walkway, Herringbone Walkway
Walkway and Path
Garden Studio Design
Newport Beach, CA Here the walkway leading to the front door is wide so that two people can walk side-by-side. Garden Studio Design in Newport Beach, CA.
  • Walkway Drawing A perspective drawing of curved steps that are 48" in width.
  • Walkway Drawing A perspective drawing of a meandering path with a minimum width of 36"
  • Walkway Drawing A perspective drawing of a straight path 36" in width.
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Walkway Widths:

  • 18" minimum
  • 24" functional
  • 30" one person
  • 36" standard
  • 48" 2 people

A good rule of thumb is to make garden walkways at least four feet wide. This minimum will allow two people to walk comfortably side-by-side. This is especially important for paths that will get frequent use, such as the one leading to your front door. The more a path is used, the wider it should be. Where the path originates from and where it ends will impact how frequently it is used. Conversely, a path that gets infrequent use can be narrower. Examples of this type of path are side-yard entrances and backyard trails. Remember, that is always better to err on the side of caution - an overly wide path is better than an overly narrow one.

A design trick that many professionals use is to vary the width of a path at certain points in the garden. Widening a walkway suggests that the visitor has arrived at a destination. Good places to widen a path include when it is nearing a patio, when you would like people to stop and admire beautiful flowers or a breathtaking view, or when there is a nice shady bench to rest on under a tree.

Related Links

Garden Path Shape
Front Yard Walkways
Backyard Walkways