There was only one Road, and it’s like a great river; its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.
Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further or to worse places?”
Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring