25 Times When ‘Desire Paths’ Overtook Official Routes (New Pics)

Published 8 months ago

When there is a demarcated path to follow, if you see a shorter more sensible route that is clearly off the intended route but would save you time and effort, would you take the long way or take the shortcut?

This ‘short-cut’ also known as the “desire path” has been described as “paths & tracks made over time by the wishes & feet of walkers, especially those … that run contrary to design or planning” by Robert Macfarlane or in his simpler words, “free-will ways.” Turns out there’s a whole subreddit dedicated to the subject and we’ve shared some of the most satisfying examples in the gallery below. 

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#1 Next Level Desire Path

Image source: colfaxmachine

Kim: Well done Jason.

#6 Been Here 30 Years, I Don’t Think The Gate Has Ever Been Used

Image source: VonBlitzk

Kim: If this could only work in videogames…


#11 Miami U (Ohio) With The Awareness!!

Image source: miamiuniversity


#16 Ultimate Acceptance

Image source: sixtypizzas


#21 This His Is In Fact A Walkway, Thanks Though Lil’ Sign

Image source: skypineapple

Mavis: This sign was put up by local council to cover their own a*s, in case anyone slips and breaks their neck. There’s probably a paved walkway just out of the picture.

#2 Desire Path Created By A Squirrel We Feed Peanuts To Every Morning

Image source: CapeClaw

GrillMeASalmon: That’s actually very nice…

#7 Well Worn Wal-Mart Path. Deepest I’ve Ever Seen

Image source: Otherwise-Seaweed-76

#12 Update: Tree Is Budding + Secondary Path

Image source: mikeydhakid

KimLets see how many trees they plant

#17 Three Years Ago, I Posted About A Desire Path On My Campus. We Are Successful!

Image source: PapaJamu

#22 It’s Not Very Long But It’s Got Character

Image source: Schwanzus_Longus_69

#3 Desirepath Regocnition In The Netherlands

Image source: r13z

KimSmart. Here is somone who actually took in what people wanted.

#8 We Won !

Image source: _insomniack

#13 Desire Stairs

Image source: MastaBaba

GrillMeASalmonBeautiful! Looks like a virtual staircase.

#18 Frosty Scotland

Image source: reddit.com

#23 Useful Desire Path

Image source: elvivacious

Sheri Lytleeven walk paths get pot holes…lol

#4 Understandable Desire Path

Image source: Isabellake1

FloCSometimes the direct path is too steep for someone using a [wheelchair], that’s may be the reason for the long path.

#9 They’re Both Kind Of Appealing

Image source: kmaffett1

KimOne to Narnia and one to the Shire

#14 Beautiful Exemplar

Image source: hassenrueb

pep ItoMaybe I’m wrong, but it looks like a path in a park to me, and paths in parks are made for walking so there is no point in taking shortcuts, but to enjoy the walk itself and the conversations with whoever you are walking with.

#19 The Fast Track To Fastrac

Image source: HardcoreMandolinist

#24 My Daughter Found The Shortest Way Home

Image source: NetworkHuge

GrillMeASalmon: Toddler-Positioning-System working well here.

#5 Never Heard Of This Before, But Figured I Had The Perfect One

Image source: Winter_Following1050

GrillMeASalmon: Detour? Me?? Naaaah…

#10 Desire Steps?

Image source: Sachem81

sbjworks for me!

#15 “Please, Take This Circuitous Route Following The Perimeter” Signed, The Architects

Image source: reddit.com

#20 Desire Path To Avoid A Branch Hanging Over Another Larger Desire Path

Image source: HamburgerEsquire

#25 Long, Foggy, More Direct Desire Path At Ucsc

Image source: Tinktilo

Kim:  I’d stick to the lit road






Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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beaten track, cow paths, designated path, desire path, donkey paths, free will, social trails
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