A desire path (also known as a desire line, social trail, goat track or bootleg trail) is a path developed by erosion caused by footfall or by bicycle. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination. The width and amount of erosion of the line represents the amount of demand.
Desire paths emerge as shortcuts where constructed ways take a circuitous route, have gaps or are lacking entirely. The paths take on an organically grown appearance by being unbiased toward existing constructed routes.
Desire paths manifest on the surface of the earth where original movement by individuals indicates, thereby encouraging more travel. Explorers tread through foliage or grass, leaving a trail “of least resistance” for followers.
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