How many paths must a man walk down?

Walking in the woods this morning made me ask the reverse of the question “How many paths must a man walk down?”. (OK I know Dylan’s original was “How many roads must a man walk down?” but with the number of cars on the roads these days that strikes me as quite a dangerous pursuit.)

My question is “How many men (or women or children) must walk down a path?”. I often walk in some nearby woods on a Sunday morning along well-trodden paths without seeing anyone else. This morning I took a path that I hadn’t been down for some time and it was already being reclaimed by brambles although clearly (from the droppings) a deer had been down it not too long before me. Many of the paths are visible because they are bare and compacted soil although they do disappear in the autumn when they are briefly covered by leaves until they reappear after enough people have been down them or the wind has blown them away. Does it take one person a day walking down them to keep them clear or does it take ten or is the answer indeed blowing in the wind?

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