Have you guys just taken a vehicle and drove it through the mountains? If you have not, do it, jumping from ridge to ridge has made for some of the best times I have ever had in GTA, and I do not think it would be possible if the area was littered with trees. A baron, hilly terrain is something supposed to be just that, BARON, little to no activity.
Stop looking at it as a "strategy" of Rockstar being lazy, and start looking at it as a playground, and I assure you, you will enjoy it much more.
When the content editors drop for online and we can start making our own race tracks... oh man, the countryside is going to be SO good!
Agreed, I've already found loads of spots and ideas for some awesome racing to be had.
I'll probably spend a lot more time creating races than playing online, that's for sure. There's several locations around the lake and river that are just BEGGING to be raced.
The nearest one to the city i found was the little dirt road that goes up to the dam, along the dam and keep going. It's a pretty short nice rally stage especially in the futo, and since its dirt roads you can do some sweet handbrake corners. So you've probs done the same as me and scouted out lots of locations being like damn why isn't this a race already...