Gathered Rocks for a Walk Path

A natural rock path gathered from nature

It’s true we gathered rocks one at a time to create this enormous rock path; this wasn’t my original plan.  Originally, I applied a thick layer of mulch and it was perfect and so comfy on my feet.

Then heavy rains arrived and washed it away; I call this poor planning on my part.

It would have been super easy to give up at that point, instead Robert and I put our heads together and came up with a fix to detour the issues so we could establish a walk path that wouldn’t wash away.

First, we started by installing a tree trunk border back in March; that project can be found here. 

This little addition also took a few months and it redirected heavy rainfall to the creek instead of washing and flooding away progress.

Picking Up Rocks

Picking Up Rocks

Now let’s go back even a little further because since we started clearing land I’ve been stepping and tripping over rocks nonstop.  I decided to pick them up and use to fill in low areas thinking at some point another idea would spark.

Then lightning struck and those rocks suddenly had a purpose that would involve this rock path.  Robert said, “That’s a lot of rocks.” I responded with, “we have plenty and this will be my project.”

He did help here and there but for the most part this was my project and I wanted to see it through. Sometimes when you have a vision you just can’t let it go.

Picking up rocks began in the evenings as a way to unwind and believe it or not I’ve actually enjoyed it.

Sometimes these rocks are sitting right on top of the ground and others need a little coaxing to be released.  It’s been an interesting process as each one is different, some very pretty and petrified wood also surfaced.

Rock path gathering equipment

My Rock Gathering Equipment

My Rock gathering equipment consisted of a bucket, gloves, hand claw and for those days when I really wanted massive progress the wheelbarrow.

The hand claw was perfect because what sometimes looked like a small rock often turned into a little boulder.  This process of gathering went on for months which helped me work through some things that had been bothering me.  Do you ever find a project to help you work through things?

Filling in path with Gathered Rocks

Dumping Rocks on Mulch

If you’re wondering did I lay plastic or cloth prior to rock dumping, absolutely not and I’ll tell you why.  When I was a kid we had a rock wall in the front yard and they lined the ground in front with plastic then filled it with rocks.  Weeds popped through every year and my brother Gary and I had to pull them out every summer.

We hated it and eventually they filled that space with concrete.

I didn’t want to repeat that so with my project I decided to rake up that washed away mulch and used it as a thick base then pour the rocks over the top.

So far this has worked perfectly and for any weeds that may transpire I’ll pour vinegar to remove.  That little piece of crab grass in the top photo was a quick dig out right down to the bare roots.

Lining up with heavy duty Rocks

Lining the Walk Path

Since one side of the walk path was lined with the tree border I thought about doing that on the opposite side.  Robert looked at me and before I even had a chance to say anything and said, “NO!”

That border was a lot of work because each log had to be cut with the chain saw and then also cut at an angel.

Since I agreed with “NO” I decided to use those boulder rocks as my edge and it’s worked perfectly.  You might remember I also placed my seed starter box along this side and plan to add a few more when things cool down.

The path left to finish

The Next Step to Finish

The next part of the walk path to finish is right before my herb beds that also take us to the bridge; I haven’t quite decided how this space should travel.  However, I think for this extension I may need to head out to the rest of our acreage for additional rocks.

Gathering rocks reminded me that I really do prefer landscaping using elements from nature instead of man-made materials.  It just looks like it belongs and it speaks volumes about God’s amazing ability to provide our needs.

If you have rocks on your property think about what you could do with them and start gathering.

Discover how to gather rocks from nature to create a walk path that will last.


  1. daisy says:

    Love how you are using what God is providing. We are doing something similar with wood found on the property to house our rain barrels. Why buy it if you can use something natural and readily available? Y’all are true homesteaders, making great things from what you already have. Enjoy the gathering…

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Daisy – that project is a real labor of love and the shed stand right behind the entrance so I’ll be blending the path into the crushed gravel. That will be shared in a video later when the temps cool. I try to always look at what we have out here to incorporate first it just fits better.

  2. Patti says:

    So smart. I love hearing about your progress at your new property. We often find rocks when digging in the garden and I usually move them to our little garden path, or sometimes when they are quite large, I place them in the garden as an accent piece. I so agree with you about reusing what you already have, and it is truly amazing how God provides.

    1. Carole says:

      Well I have to tell you there hasn’t been much progress later. Temps have risen past 100 so we get up early to maintain things, water late at night and then pretty much stuck in doors the rest of the day. I bet your path is neat, think I remember seeing it in a post way back. I even saved some of the petrified wood and placed them in my raised beds just because. It’s so interesting.

  3. Melissa says:

    I love your rock pathway. I wish we had rocks naturally on our property. Every time we go somewhere, I’m always bringing rocks home with me. Even my kids bring me rocks. lol My mom has taken up the hobby of painting rocks. I need to post some of her paintings. They are so cute.

    Your place is looking so pretty. Just as soon as the weather gets cooler, I’m going to come see you and your tiny home / gardening / building / loving nature creations. 🙂

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Melissa – Good to hear from you and enjoy seeing you on Instagram.

      Every now and then I look back at the day we purchased this land to where it is now and then I think about the future of this entire project and it’s pretty amazing. It’s peaceful out here and living tiny well it just agrees with both of us.

      When you come out bring a bucket and you can have all you want, Seriously every time it rains a new crop appears. Some would even be fun for your mom to paint, tell her I said hello.

  4. mickie mclaugthlin says:

    Hello Carole……I am Loving today’s blog.

    I live on Rockhaven Avenue and the name sure fits this place. Every time it rains here more rocks “rise up” from the ground. I keep expecting to find a skeleton one day. LOL I’ve been collecting rocks for years so love to find new ways to incorporate them around my property. I even go down to rivers to look for little rocks, especially 3 or 4 inch flat roundish ones. I keep two buckets in the trunk of my car to hold “found treasures”. My brother says I am nuts. I keep expecting him to have me picked up for “evaluation” one day. LOL

    Back to the topic of the day…….I love what you are doing with all of your rocks. Having this path hook up with the little bridge is a great idea. The cut tree border looks terrific with the stones running along it. I was wondering how you were going to contain the rocks along the path, then I read a little further down that you were using the larger rocks to hold them in place. Great idea.

    I know this is a lot of work, but isn’t it wonderful when you see your “ideas” come into being. I can’t wait to see the finished work on video. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Carole says:

      I so get that rain and a new crop of rocks thing. I was joking with Robert and said, “I’m a rock farmer!”

      The heat has been unbearable so my outside hours are minimal right now which means progress is also minimal and why I backed off video for now. Hoping for simple low 90’s in August, that would be such a gift. Maybe then I can get that section towards the bridge done. I don’t I’ve shared the bridge yet either. I so love that space!

      Hope you have a great week, I’m working on something fun and simple for Thursday that I think you may enjoy too.

  5. Karen says:

    I’m so happy to see your rock path! It’s fits perfectly in your surroundings and looks so nice. I’m sure you’ll have great drainage and totally eliminate your washing-out dilemma. It might be something we could try here on a smaller scale because it isn’t so much rain that gets mulch, but our dogs. I just noticed this morning yet another bed “restyled” for me. 🙁

    Oh, yes, I too get a lot of “working out of annoyances” while doing something like this. Today it was a quick walk through the neighborhood, but I do love to work things out in the garden beds too – when it isn’t scorching outside.

    Great post – and I look forward to seeing how you finish out the end.

    1. Carole says:

      Well we recently did have a couple of really great rainfalls and it worked like a charm so I’m encouraged. This would be a good solution for the dog digging issue because Dixie doesn’t like the rock path. She walks around it and boy does she love her bridge. The rocks may be a little hard on her feet, I even thought about adding boards or cement blocks in between for steps but decided against it. Working out annoyances is always good – Glad you like this one and I’m hoping I can get the rest done in the fall when it’s cooler. So hot!

  6. That is a lot of rock gathering, but so neat and tidy. Let us know how the mulch works for keeping weeds down. I’m trying it in a few walkways by me, but it’s early days yet so I don’t know how long it’ll keep weeds at bay.

    Rock is not abundant where we live, but I’m a scrounger at heart. If my friends want to get rid of brick, rock, or flagstone, I’ll gladly pick it up. Sometimes it makes for a cobbled look, but I’m okay with it.

    1. Carole says:

      it is a lot of rocks and I do love neat and tidy. Thicker mulch layers will help keep those weeds at a distance, I did this around the herbs beds and it surprised me. I love being gifted brick, rock and flagstone would be awesome. I think you could get really creative with the three for a neat walk path. Creating with fun ideas and a neat elements is the best.

  7. Elizabeth Wilson says:

    I have sort of been doing the same thing all summer. We have a large maple tree in our back yard and some of its roots are above ground and I was always tripping over them. I put down some extra pieces of slates, but it needed more….then I had a vision…..ROCKS. I had tons of rocks that had been removed from around a former Koi pond, I started with them. Then every time I planted a flower, shrub or tree I found more rocks. Every time I walked in my yard I found rocks. It became a habit to always carry a trowel and bucket with me. Just like you, I found searching for rocks to be very relaxing. I found myself getting excited over finding large rocks and what I considered pretty rocks. Heavy rain storms always seem to provide a new crop of rocks for me. That project is done and I have found a couple of other places to use rocks.

    1. Carole says:

      I knew there were more rock gathering folks out there who also found the process relaxing. We get a new crop every time it rains here too. We’re pretty blessed though because if we run out of places on our property to use them we can always add the rest in the road we’re putting in. They’re great for filling in the low spots.

      1. Elizabeth Wilson says:

        I have found a new spot to “cover” in rocks! Under our chimney…and then there is a bed of forsythia growing from there and I decided to fill in the entire bed with rocks!

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