• Landscape Lighting Design: Bright Ideas
    With outdoor spaces more popular than ever, lighting these landscapes may be your next opportunity. Click here to learn more.

Need some help regarding a landscaping plan


LawnSite Member

Please pardon the length of this post but I want to ensure I provide you w/ as much info as possible.

I've found a home that abuts a national historical site. This site is the home of a former president and is located on about 95 acres of farmland & trails and includes a few antique structures. The site hosts tours of the president's former house and visitors are free to walk the few paths that encompass the large acreage however the neighboring properties are clearly marked as such and the signage states that all visitors are not allowed in such areas. Like all national sites the area is serviced by park rangers and they ensure that visitors adhere to the rules. Site hours are 9AM-4PM; five days a week.

We've been thinking as to whether this would be an inconvenience to us but, on the surface, it appears to have some benefits. First and foremost the land could never be sub-divided and developed, it would remain as-is in perpetuity, the natural buffer zone is fairly extensive and consists of mostly mature trees and shrubs, the split-rail fences and antique buildings lend a quaint character to the area provided that you don't see the parking lot (we don't!) and the area has plenty of rolling hills and fields. Our back yard is completely private, it's the front of the house that faces this property and in the winter you would get a fairly decent view of the presidents home and front porch.

The one caveat is that the private road that leads to my house has an access to an old carriage trail which was used back in the early 1900's and the historical site still maintains a right-of-way. Today the trail is rarely used at all w/ the exception of emergencies. One such emergency would be a fire at one of the antique structures. In such a case all neighboring fire companies would, theoretically, be able to traverse this old road for the purpose fighting the blaze from any and all directions rather than risk losing anything of historical value.

Because of this ROW I cannot feasibly impede ingress or egress; I can install a fence but it must include a gate. Frankly I am a bit concerned that the entrance to the trail itself looks a bit utilitarian from the view from my property [see the following image].

Do you think a landscape architect would be able to make this trail more visually appealing while still maintaining emergency access to the historical site?

Thanks in advance.


Dreams To Designs

LawnSite Bronze Member
Absolutely. It would be a challenge but there are many ways to still have access, but not be so visible. Interview landscape architects and designers to find the one that feels right for you and your project. Supply them with all the information regarding this situation, including the legal setbacks and restrictions. You can definitely have this done to your satisfaction and still meet the needs of emergency access. You may want to pose this question on another forum also. http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/design/ This forum has quite a few designers and architects as well as very talented nonprofessionals that may be able to offer some insight.