Proposed features/trailhead

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Status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: geobrando
Tagging: highway=trailhead
Applies to: Node Way Area Relation
Definition: The point at which a trail begins
Drafted on: 2015-04-11
[[Category:Proposals with "Proposed" status|]][[Category:Proposed features under way|]]


A trailhead can most simply be defined as the point or place at which one can access a trail. This proposal aims to seek approval for the mapping and tagging of trailheads as nodes, ways, areas, or relations.


A trailhead may be inferred in OSM as the shared node between a trail (way tagged highway=path) and a non-trail highway, or the shared node between two individual trails. However, trailheads are points-of-interest in and of themselves as they are commonly locations of visitor amenities such as automobile and bicycle parking, restrooms, guideposts, information kiosks, and drinking water fountains and thus are desired routing destinations. Trailheads may be verifiable on-the-ground by the presence of these features and potentially with a change in terrain. In addition, there may be multiple trailheads providing access to a single trail with differing attributes (e.g. access=* or operator=*), which may prevent attaching some tags directly on a trail way.


Observable trailheads are frequently present on trails found in regional or national parks. Park authorities such as the U.S. National Park Service maintain a database called Places in which employees can add/edit trailheads and other points-of-interest located in national parks.

As of 4/1/2015, taginfo reports that the tag highway=trailhead has been applied to 304 objects (207 nodes and 27 ways).


A trailhead should be mapped so that it shares one node with at least one trail segment (i.e.,highway=path) and can be represented as a node, way, area, or a relation and should be tagged primarily as highway=trailhead.

The following may optionally be tagged directly on the trailhead:

Associated attributes or features can be represented by additional tags applied to a trailhead node/way/area, or on a separate object as part of a relation depending on the how the trailhead is modeled.

Appropriate tags may include:

Applies to

Node, way, area, or relation


Trailheads could be rendered using a symbol modeled after NPS trailhead.svg, an icon from the NPMaps Places collection.

Features/Pages affected

  • Some existing objects may represent trailheads and it may be appropriate to incorporate them into a relation.


Please use discussion page to comment.