There’s no doubt that being in nature is good for your mental health and overall wellbeing, and it’s even better when it’s on your own property. While you likely have dedicated paths and favorite footpaths, there are a few things that can trip you up, literally. Tree roots, erosion streams, and even poison ivy can all ruin a nice hike through your property, and you might be considering putting in a permanent walkway or trail to make for sure footing every time. Tucker Paving has nearly 30 years of experience in the paving industry, and we have installed enough sidewalks, walkways, trails, and roadways. We know that you want to consider the material you choose for your walkways and trails carefully if you would like to enjoy your investment for years to come.

Evaluate Your Needs First

It’s important for you to first consider what it is you want out of your walkways and trails. Are you looking for a material that provides sure footing or that perhaps is accessible to those with limited mobility? Do you want a pathway or trail that most closely resembles nature? Do you want materials that are as maintenance free as possible? Is cost a factor? All of these considerations will help guide you to the best material for your trails and walkways.

Factors that you should consider when choosing a material for your trails or walkways include:

  • Accessibility
  • Cost of materials and installation
  • Maintenance costa
  • Life span
  • The availability of materials and installers

Material Options

Another consideration is soft versus hard surfaces. Soft surfaces tend to look more “natural,” and they are also considerably less expensive. However, soft surfaces do not hold up to the elements as well as hard surfaces, and they do not last as long.

Soft Material Options

Sand or Soil. Trails can be created with additional layers of sands or soils; it’s likely one of the easiest and least expensive options, but it will require a lot of maintenance, and it is also the option that will last the least amount of time.

Wood Chips. Wood chips are another inexpensive, natural option. Like sand or soil, a trail or walkway made of wood chips will require maintenance to fight erosion and weeds.

Rubber Mulch. Rubber mulch is similar to wood chips when used as a trail cover, but they won’t degrade as they are inorganic. They will still require maintenance to limit weeds and erosion. While rubber mulch is more expensive than wood mulch, it will last much longer.

Hard Material Options

Crushed Stone. Crushed stone offers another natural look, and it’s priced between wood chips and rubber mulch. It stands up better to erosion than wood chips or rubber mulch, but it is not entirely immune. Crushed stone will require some maintenance against erosion and weeds.

Soil Cement. This trail surface is made from cement mixed with a soil aggregate; it is then laid down, rolled, and compacted into a hardened surface. It offers a relatively easy and inexpensive option for a hard surface that will block weeds and resist erosion. It also offers accessibility for those with mobility issues. While it has a longer lifespan than any of the above options, it will eventually require maintenance to fix cracks and degradation.

Concrete. Concrete trails and paths are one of the most expensive options, and it is also one of the options that will last the longest. It also requires little maintenance and offers a smooth walkway for those with mobility concerns.

Asphalt. Asphalt is another long-lasting option. It’s a bit less expensive than concrete, but it generally requires a bit more maintenance to have a comparable life span to concrete.

Wooden Boardwalk. Wooden boardwalks are visually pleasing in a nature setting, and they offer an option through wet areas. Additionally, they offer firm footing for those with accessibility issues. They are also, however, very expensive, and they require a good deal of maintenance and upkeep to keep from rotting.

Let Tucker Paving Help You

At Tucker Paving, we have nearly three decades in the asphalt and concrete paving industry. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, oruse our contact form online, to inquire about your next paving project!