One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Off a trail or path; away from an established route.
That is or takes place away from a trail; specifically (of a sport, activity, etc.) conducted away from an established or conventional route. Also (and in earliest use) figurative: different to that which is accepted or usual; unorthodox.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Overland Monthly. From off + trail.
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