A path that has been created by people's feet walking where they want to go, rather than sticking to existing paths. They are typically found in parkland, and may be between two areas not conveniently connected by a real path, but are often very short cuts between two paths meeting at a right angle, where people walk across a hypotenuse to save the inconvenience of going to the corner and turning.

Desire paths are an inconvenience, at least, for park-keepers, who see them proliferate over grassy or otherwise fragile areas. They may cause erosion. Sometimes areas are fenced off to stop the desire path and let the growth regenerate; but often it is impossible to frustrate entirely people's desires for short cuts.