The paper focuses on the establishment of optimized bucket path planning using numerical solution method, for a force-reflecting backhoe which is affected by excavation environment including potential obstacles. The developed path planning method can be used for precise bucket control and more importantly for obstacle avoidance which is directly related to safety issues. An optimal path planning model to minimize energy and to move manipulator arms along a specified path subjected to angular constraints was first established. Simultaneously, path modification due to unexpected obstacles was considered. A Newton-Raphson iteration method was used to acquire angular information of boom, stick, and bucket to solve inverse kinematics. The model presented in this paper was intended to be implemented in further study of force and vibration feedback control of tele-operated excavator using haptic devices.