Gravel is crushed rock, normally limestone, which is mined and then used in driveways and walkways, either as the path itself or to help boost drainage. And while gravel can be used to create beautifully intricate pathways, maintaining it can be difficult. If you’ve ever walked on a gravel path then you’re aware of how easy it is to kick up the loose stone. You may have even found yourself stopping at one point to shake tiny pebbles out of your shoe.

Continuous or heavy usage tends to create uneven sections in gravel pathways that will eventually need refilling. However, if you want to make sure that your pathway doesn’t run away with your visitors (or mother nature), you can invest in a few products and maintenance tips that will help you keep it stabilized!

The first step is knowing which gravel will work best for you.

Finding the Best Gravel for Pathways

big gravel

When looking for the best gravel for your backyard or garden tracks, there are a two things you should keep at the top of your list –

  • Angular rock. Using triangular or irregularly edged stones is recommended because they will stick together more securely. Which means they’re less likely to be washed out in heavy rains or move about when walked on. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking they won’t drain properly. With their oblong edges, angular stones keep enough space between them to let water pass through smoothly.
  • Size. Depending on the look you want and where you are planning to lay the gravel, it’s important to pay attention to the size. Most experts agree that the proper gravel size is ¾” – but you can find both bigger and smaller. For most walking paths, it’s recommended to not go any smaller than ⅜”. This will help make sure your gravel path keeps its shape and doesn’t sink in areas when used.
  • After that, the type of gravel is all up to you! Though pea gravel is one of the most popular options, you can also go with crushed stone or marble chips.

    Building a Gravel Path that Sticks

    rock path

    Once you’re set on the type of stone and have mapped out how to build your gravel pathway. There are a few things you can do to make sure you’ve set yourself up for success.

    The first thing, of course, is to excavate the layout of the path and edge it properly. After you’re finished with that, you can start laying down your gravel.
    But don’t just dump the stone!

    A good way to help keep a path secure is by layering it. Start with a larger gravel like our #57 Gravel and lay it out a few inches deep before tamping it down with a tool like a hand tamper. This step is important for not only making sure the stone is level, but locking it into place.

    Then you can add a binder like decomposed granite, which will help with stabilizing. It’s also recommended once you add decomposed granite that you follow the same method of spreading, leveling, and tamping that you did for the larger stones.

    And once that’s finished you are all set to add your smaller gravel!

    But this isn’t the only way to help keep your path together.

    One of the best products that you can purchase to stabilize your gravel is a honeycomb stabilizer. This is a durable product that you lay directly on your path or driveway beneath the gravel. The honeycomb shape allows you to fill the compartments with gravel, which prevents it from moving around. They are barely visible once filled, and discourage weed growth.

    The honeycomb stabilizers also come in both white and black, so you can choose a color that best blends in with the shade of gravel you’ve chosen. And you will save money in the long run because you don’t have to purchase gravel every year!

    And that’s it!

    At Sagamore Companies we have gravel in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose exactly how your pathway will look. And because our gravel is only natural limestone, it allows for great drainage, while being more eco-friendly than other synthetic products.

    We also have a great team of professional landscapers that can install everything and take care of the dirty work for you!

    Sources

    How to Build a Stable Pea Gravel Path
    Common Errors to Avoid When Laying a Gravel Driveway
    Decomposed Granite
    Hardscaping 101: Decomposed Granite