Like Nick said do some old fashion brush bashing or follow animal trails or creeks I have found some really cool stuff and places that no one else has been to. I have been doing this type of hiking since I was a kid hiking the Angeles national forest above my house.
I have also done some cross country hiking six to nine months after in wild fires areas. It kind of surreal hiking seeing what kind of damage the wild fires have done to wreck the area because of some stupid arsonist who should be sitting on death row instead of just jail time for his crime.
But it also rewarding to see nature fighting it way back to life and the new plants growing or green buds,branches,growth coming out of once burnt up chaparral.
Wear old clothes,boots you don't care about and a bandana you can wet down and put across your mouth and nose to filter the soot being kick up because you come back with soot covered clothes and body.
I also try and figure out up and over cross country mountain peaks in southern california. But look at topo maps before you do this because you may do some unlawful trespassing. You don't want to do that .
I remember one hike I was doing through a canyon when I was 35 years old with out looking at a topo map near Ramona ,California. I ended up at the back fence of the San Diego wild animal park so I turned around and went back did not feel like being the next meal of lion that day.
Also do some urban hiking through different towns and streets you will see some new stuff and people all the time. You don't see from the comfort of your car. I found private aviary at nursery that sells plants less than a mile from house I was walking by because I heard the birds. The owner has over 100 parakeets,finches,cockatiles all in his private aviary I always stop by and watch them for about 15 minutes it quite fun.
Blazing your own trail is fun hiking and backpacking but you better have a good scene of direction to get back out to where you started like I do.