desire line n. An informal path that pedestrians prefer to take to get from one location to another rather than using a sidewalk or other official route.

I love this term it’s fitting and beautiful. Before learning the correct term for these shortcut paths, on the drive from Tucson to LA, I saw many of these desire lines in the desert sand and brush, including foot steps of animals/humans and some tire markings from bicycles. Desire lines become invisable in cities where the ground is not so soft and the medians are packed with cement. Pavement seems to kill desire lines but it really just hides them, there are shortcuts even on completely paved areas not meant for walking. Beaches are full of desire! accept that these trampled paths have to be remade all the time because of how sand is displaced and how the water makes the sand smooth. People make these paths for sheer convenience in the city around the beach this is arguable. Though I saw only a few people use these desire lines shown above including myself, countless people make shortcuts all the time, to save time and to go the shortest distance possible.