This post assists players in Elden Ring in three different locations fairly early in the game. Direct routes in all three locations referenced offer various challenges (difficult zones to clear, difficult mobs to defeat for loot, and dungeons needed for various reasons, including quests. The secret paths help players die less and dying is something one does often in this game.
Liurnia of the Lakes Secret Path
Stormveil Castle is rough. I can’t imagine waiting to accomplish tasks in the early game main zone, Liurnia of the Lakes. Of course there is a secret passage to bypass Stormveil Castle Completely. The Liurnia of the Lakes secret passage is pretty easy to find and intuitive to follow. There’s a few mobs to fight on the way, wolves namely, but you can get to the first site of grace in Liurnia of the Lakes, Liurnia Lake Shore.
As with any new zone, finding the map fragments are helpful to start finding locations for a new tier of loot, beyond Limgrave and Weeping Peninsula, without having to beat Margit the Fell and Godrick the Grafted.
Ainsel River Secret Path
Inside this underground dungeon, after clearing ridiculous mobs, and trying to progress forward, you’re greeted with a large creature throwing purple boulders at you. Progressing in the dungeon this way is too difficult. Luckily, there’s a clutch secret path. You don’t have to fight the ridiculous mobs in the ruins “courtyard” of the dungeon. Run past them, scale some rocks, and you’ll be able to approach and defeat the creature throwing purple boulders from a different angle. I maybe should tried melee on her but I’m a mage.
Altus Plateau Secret Path
I don’t want to assault a place in Caelid for the other half of the medallion to activate and use the Grand Lift of Dectus to get to Altus Plateau, I need instant gratification and the miner’s bell 2 plus runes from a fresh zone. The underground dungeons, part of The Snow Witch Armor Set Quest, rewarded part way through Ranni’s quest, should be lit up with sites of grace. Time for Altus Plateau via another clutch secret path.
There’s a boss fight to get through to the plateau, a Magma Wyrm.