[Hey guys! Re-sharing this post from I Dream of FIRE back in the day because not only is it just damn good, but it’s also something I’ve never stopped thinking about ever since first reading it… I see these “desire paths” everywhere now and they’re so fascinating! See how many you can find in your community!]
Two well-worn dirt paths run through the grass near my house.
The first is just a few feet from the sidewalk, while the second follows a small slope and meets up with an asphalt park trail.
I live in a masterplanned community. The roads, trails, sidewalks and walkways are carefully planned and maintained to help travelers follow a predetermined route.
But those who choose to walk on dirt tracks have a different idea.
These paths of bare dirt can be found everywhere. They may be a few feet long or hundreds of feet, but enough people have taken this same unofficial route that it has become an obvious option – the proverbial road less traveled.
We often just call these shortcuts – and indeed Wikipedia suggests they are often “the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination” – but they have an…