The Lost Woods have been a staple region in most Zelda games since A Link to the Past on Super NES, and Tears of the Kingdom has its own rendition of the famous forest. If you've tried finding your way through the woods only to wind up back at the start, that's because you're meant to fail. This guide will take you through the Lost Woods, which is an optional (but very helpful) quest to undertake before searching for the Master Sword.
Getting through the Lost Woods
The Lost Woods are located in the Korok Forest, the same region far in the north of Hyrule where they were found in 2017's Breath of the Wild. Tears of the Kingdom's woods are a little different. In Breath of the Wild, you navigated them using a torch, the wind, and some keen observation. In Tears of the Kingdom, getting through the Lost Woods is impossible; the only way forward is to travel beneath them.
Open your map and look at the road leading north into the Lost Woods. You're looking for Depths off to the right; that's the Minshi Woods Chasm, and it's your target. Drop one of your six glowing pins on top of it, then drop a second one in the center of the Korok Forest. You'll need it once you're down in the dark.
Make your way to the chasm and dive in. Your goal is to make use the pin you placed on Korok Forest like a compass: As long as you're heading toward it, you're on the right path. Using brightbloom seeds to light your way as you go. You're looking for the Rikonasum Lightroot; you'll find it at coordinates 0406 2134 -0592. Once you've found it, activate the Lightroot and then turn around and head to the stone platform nearby. Stand in the center and use Ascend to swim up to the surface. You'll pop out in the Lost Woods. Don't celebrate just yet: Gloom has corrupted the forest and caused the Great Deku Tree to go into a deep slumber.
Your next step should be to solve the nearby Musanokir Shrine (Swing to Hit) at coordinates 0409 2132 0144 so you have a warp point to return to later, and then clean up the Lost Woods. Consult our Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom strategy guide for those and other walkthroughs.