“Cow Paths” is what my college professor called natural traffic patterns that pedestrians create when they go the shortest distance between two points. As a designer our goal is to look for potential “cow paths” and design accordingly.
Solutions to “cow paths” include: Acknowledge that people will continue to cut across the yard and provide a pathway for them. Pathways can be as simple as flagstone sunk into the grass where you can mow over. To beautiful landscaping that creates a focal point for the walkway. By designing a walkway you can eliminate mud and grass getting tracking into your home.
Here the walkway was designed down the middle of the landscape. It is hidden from the street view, but convenient for those parking on the driveway.
Here is a simple walkway set in crushed granite. No mowing or weeding required. The walkway allows you to get larger items moved in and out. This works well around areas with pools or lots of direct sunlight.
Flagstone sunk into the grass provides a simple walkway around the house or to the back alley. Mowers can mow over the top. You will need to occasionally weed eat the edges of the flagstone if the grass starts to grow over.

Another options would be to block the “Cow path” that people are using. This option needs to be designed well or it can look like the landscaping is out of place stuck in the middle of no where. If you use this option think about what is most important to you? Function of forcing traffic onto your designed pathways for safety, & flow? Form which translates to the design and look of the pathway. If you are selling your home in the new future think about the potential value the walkway and it’s design will have for potential buyers.
We are here to help so please call us if you are not sure what would work best for your home. 972-492-5495