Composition is an important Part of of Photography. And there are so many Tools that can be used to achieve a beautiful Foto.
Leading Lines are one such Tool. They are used to guide your Eyes through the Scene captured. In the Woods, Paths are the perfect leading Lines. They usually stand out, and you should use them anyways just to get around.
Paths are great. They help you traverse the Woods relatively easily and safely. And they also make great Subjects for Landscape Photography.
There is nothing more boring then a straight Path or one that Curves right out of the Foto though. I definitely prefer long winding Roads that lead you into the Foto and make you wonder what will come next.
Paths and Roads are so much more than just Leading Lines though. They are very good at that, but reducing Paths to that Role would be unfair.
Paths also signify a Journey. You automatically wonder where you would arrive should you chose to Wander along any given Trail. And that is awesome.
It makes you think about a Foto. And that is definitely a good Thing that I always encourage.
Uniform Landscapes can quickly become boring. I love Fotos that are just Full of Trees, but I always love some Variation.
Sometimes, a Foto just needs a Point of Interest. And a Path cutting through the Woods or a Road coming down a Hill always look Interesting.
They also stand out from the Green/ Wintery White of the Scene. I really love that.
Roads and Paths really make for great Leading Lines in Landscape Fotos. I absolutely love them for that.
But Paths are also great at getting around in the Woods. And since I live by the National Park Principle, I tend to always stay on the Path to disturb Nature as little as possible.
And you should do the same. Stay on the Trail, take everything you bring back out of the Woods with you, and most importantly: Be Respectful with Nature. Leave it intact for the next People to come around who also want to enjoy the Forest.