across-lot route

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Senior Member
Hi there,

"For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms, and did my duty faithfully; surveyor, if not of highways, then of forest paths and all across-lot routes, keeping them open, and ravines bridged and passable at all seasons, where the public heel had testified to their utility."
Walden/ Thoreau

Does across-lot route mean shortcut?

Thanks in advance.
  • donallen

    English - United States
    I haven't read Walden in a quarter century; however, I would think that "across-lot routes" wouldn't necessarily mean "shortcuts." A "lot" is a plot of land owned by a single person or entity. Thus an "across-lot route" would be a roadway, likely unpaved and unmapped, that cuts across various people's property or lots. When I hear "across-lot routes," I think the best analogy today would be an ATV track through the woods.
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