37 Circulation – Roads

The Rustic Landscape of Rim Village, 1927-1941





Design Principles

  • Roads and paths should “fit” or conform to existing topography and natural landscape features such as trees and rock outcrops. Roads and paths should be recessed and appear subordinate to the natural landscape.


  • Roads and paths should be as direct as possible yet be constructed in a curvilinear fashion (avoiding straight lines) and provide a pleasant sequence of views framed by natural vegetation. Grades should be as uniform and gentle as possible with no sharp turns.


  • Plantings alongside roads and paths should be used to “conceal” the route and help it blend with its surroundings.

1. Rim Village Road and roads through the campground reflect historic patterns and should be retained. If the new design for Rim Village calls for the reconfiguration, removal or construction of new roads, treatment should be as follows:

a. removal — If historic roads are removed, disturbed areas associated with former road beds should be revegetated and regraded as appropriate (see RECOMMENDATIONS: Vegetation). In addition, because Rim Village Road historically functioned as a transition zone between the promenade and the campground, new design for this area should attempt to reestablish that function.

b. realignment — Roads realigned from historic roads should retain the design character of the original road (width, surface material, shoulder treatment), and every effort should be made to tie the realigned portion of the road into the existing road without disturbing the original grade. Reconfigured portions of the road should follow the natural topography and generally conform to guidelines for new roads (see below).

c. new roads — New roads should be added only as required to accommodate functional needs. Whenever possible, new roads should be sited in previously disturbed areas to minimize impacts on natural areas. In terms of design, new roads should be as direct as possible, but have a curvilinear character, following natural contours. Plantings, low stone walls, and/or berms should be used to help blend and minimize the impacts of newly constructed roads. Plantings should be massed to reflect natural associations and the gradation in density of planting, from the existing forest to the road. Views should also be included in the criteria for siting new roads, and all new roads should be surfaced with asphalt.

2. Service-related roads should be physically separated from public spaces and activity areas, and be different in character than primary roads.

3. Historically, the road and arrival sequence to Rim Village played an important role in the design of the site. If the arrival sequence is modified in conjunction with the new site plan, the new access to Rim Village should attempt to create similar experiential qualities (visitor travels from forest to open meadows, back through the forest, up in elevation to a sudden clearing and a vista of the lake). The view to the lake at the point of arrival was fundamental in the historic design and should be retained in the new plan.