How to Make Dirt Pathways | The Path | ACNH - Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

dirt path header.png
Let's bring out your island's natural beauty with dirt pathways using the Custom Design Editor in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH). Read on to learn how to recreate "The Path", the famous custom design loved by the Animal Crossing community!

Tileset Preparation

Free Up 9 Custom Designs Slots

Path Custom Design Slots.jpg
This dirt pathway design was originally created by @Denim2_mori on Twitter, which is now known as The Path in the Animal Crossing community.

This is the perfect path design if you want to retain the natural look of your island. Many players have shared their own takes and variations with this design.

Now, you can learn how to make your own too! First thing, you need 9 custom design slots for this tileset.

How to Create a Dirt Pathway

Click to jump to a section!
1 Draw the tile base for each slot.
2 Paint the dirt.
3 Add gradients.
4 Add personal touches!
5 Lay the tiles on the ground, and you are finished!

1. Draw the Tile Base

Click the image to expand.

Once securing the 9 design slots, let us first draw the base of the 9 tiles. You can click on the images above to expand it.

For the grass patches, the actual grass will be seen, so we will use the transparent option to create holes, or grass spots, into the tiles.

After drawing the tiles, try placing them on the ground first to make sure that everything lines up.

Be careful not to shift the edge dots!

dirt path 1.jpg

When drawing the base, it is okay if the middle parts are misaligned, but make sure that you have the edge dots in place.

If you want to change it position, you will need to change the edge dots of the other tiles too, so keep that in mind while creating this.

2. Paint the Dirt

Decide on the base color

dirt path 2.jpg
Next, decide on the base color. Depending on the path type, you might want to consider different shades. Since we are creating a dirt pathway, we will use a dark shade of brown. Fill in the tile base with this color.

Create texture by randomly drawing dots

dirt path 3.jpg
To mimic the texture of the ground, let's place dots of adjacent colors in random spots. We will be using different shades of brown, adjusting the hue as needed, to make it lively. We will be using 3 colors.

Colors Used
Color Hue Vividness Brightness
1 (Base) 3 9 6
2 3 8 6
3 3 10 6

3. Add Gradients

Add gradient to the edges

dirt path 4.jpg

Next, to blend in with the grass, we will be adding gradients to the tile edges.

For the farthest part of the gradient, use your base color, and go darker as you reach the tile edge. For the gradient, we will be using 3 colors.

Colors Used
Color Hue Vividness Brightness
1 (Base) 3 9 6
4 (Core Shadow) 3 13 5
5 (Light Shadow) 3 12 6

Add shadows to the grass patches

dirt path 5.jpg
Similar to adding gradients, add highlights and shadows around the grass spots so it looks three-dimensional.

4. Add Personal Touches

Add more details to your liking! You can add flowers, leaves, or vines; draw whatever you want to make it yours!

If you would like to learn how to draw flowers, check out this guide!
How to Make Flower Patches

5. Lay the Tiles on the Ground!

dirt path 7.jpg
Once you are satisfied, place them on the ground. It is faster to do it with the Custom Design Path Permit using the Island Designer app. Decorate with furniture or greenery, and you are done!

How to Place the Tiles | Pathway Layout

Tile Number Guide
tile number guide.jpg

Create Patches

dirt patch.jpg
Because of the flexibility of the tileset, you can make small or big circles or patches for a natural look. The small patch uses 4 tiles, while the larger patch uses 9 tiles, the whole tilesets.

Create Paths of Different Widths

dirt path thickness.jpg
You can also make pathways of different widths. You can create thin paths with 2 tiles, or wider paths with 3 or more tiles wide.

Create Curved Paths

Curved path.jpg
The best way to use the dirt pathway design is by placing it in a curved manner. It looks natural, and you can place plants and trees around for that forest vibe!

The Path by @Denim2_mori

Original Work

This design, called Kemonomichi ("Monster Road") was created by @Denim2_mori on Twitter. It was instantly loved by the Animal Crossing community, and has been going around, used by a lot of users, and is now known as "The Path".

Using #ThePathACNH

Notes on usage and permission on recreating their design. (JP)

This instantly gained numbers on Twitter when it was posted, and a number of players also have created their own variations. However, if you would like to preserve @Denim2_mori's original work, feel free to use the hashtag #ThePathACNH.

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