I am a great fan of footpaths or Little Known Sidewalks, although I had no name for them until now. Walking our old neighborhood when it was new to us almost 15 years ago, my husband and I discovered an LKS that many of our neighbors never saw. We also found short, narrow streets that appeared to be driveways but actually led to tiny neighborhoods containing four or five or six houses.
Our new neighborhood, we’ve been here 20 months, hasn’t any LKSs that I’ve discovered but does have dirt walking paths that go from one street or neighborhood to another. Places that became shortcuts because of frequent use. These are often hard to see, sometimes requiring trespassing on someone’s yard to access a path that begins in the far corner of their yard. Seemingly, the property owners have allowed unofficial ingress and egress to these paths.
We miss and overlook so much when traveling by car. Walking is a form of exploration and discovery that shouldn’t be neglected.
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, Tim. Brought to mind many hidden paths, streets, parks, and sanctuaries that surprised and delighted me.
One favorite is a tiny park in Manhattan. My husband, who used to live in Jersey and loved to walk the streets of Manhattan, was introducing me to his city as we walked W 6th Avenue, a street he traveled many times. With fresh eyes I saw a wall with a flowering tree behind it and went to investigate what appeared to be a small gate. The gate was open and led to a lovely garden with benches. A sanctuary my husband never noticed on all his many walks in that area.
Fresh eyes and foot travel are amazing assets!