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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = path
A generic path
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodes
may be used on ways
should not be used on areas
should not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: Approved


If you are mapping Public Rights of way in the UK (specifically England and Wales) see UK public rights of way.

A route open to the public which is not intended for motor vehicles, unless so tagged separately. This includes snowmobile trails, ski trails, hiking trails, horse trails, bike trails and paths, mountain bike trails as well as combinations of the above and other modes of transportation.

These routes may have any type of surface.

The default access restriction of highway=path is "open to all non-motorized vehicles (motor_vehicle=no), but emergency vehicles are allowed (emergency=destination)". (Although it depends on each country what vehicles are allowed by default).

This tag is used for paths for which all and any of highway=footway, highway=cycleway and highway=bridleway would be inappropriate or inadequate (or simply not sufficient), but which are nonetheless usable for travel or navigation. They might be not intended for any particular use, or intended for several different uses. Intended uses can be indicated with the access=designated keys.

If a path is wide enough for four-wheel-vehicles, and it is not legally signposted or otherwise only allowed for pedestrians, cyclists or horseriders, it is often better tagged as a highway=track.


In 2007/2008, there was a campaign desiring to displace the tags highway=cycleway, highway=bridleway and highway=footway by the tag highway=path, the voting was clear in favour of introducing a new tag, but not in favour of the original desire of its initiators:

(See Approved_features → Path → Voting)


Optional tags
Key Value Comment
access=* * Access values are used to describe the legal access for highway=*.
surface=* * Additional information about the physical surface of roads/footpaths.
sac_scale=* hiking
A difficulty rating scheme for hiking trails.
trail_visibility=* excellent
This key describes attributes regarding trail visibility and orientation.
incline=* value%
For marking a way's incline (or steepness/slope).
width=* number Describes the actual width of a way. By default, values will be interpreted as metres

Usage as a Universal Tag

Integrated in JOSM:

Example Mapping Description
120px-Zeichen 240.svg.png

+ foot=designated
+ bicycle=designated
+ segregated=no

Signposted foot and bicycle path
120px-Zeichen 241.svg.png

+ foot=designated
+ bicycle=designated
+ segregated=yes

Signposted foot and bicycle path with dividing line.
120px-Zeichen 240.svg.png

120px-Zusatzzeichen 1022-11.svg.png

+ foot=designated
+ bicycle=designated
+ moped=yes

Signposted foot and bicycle path with additional permission of mopeds.
Waldweg Hexenstieg (2).JPG


Easy path without any further signs allowed for pedestrians, cyclists or riders may also.


See also: Highway examples

A path for bicycles, horses, snowmobiles, and cross-country skiing could be tagged as:

A UK bridleway could be tagged as:


Mapnik OSMAnd
Path osm.png

Dark gray dashed lines

Path osmand.png

Black dashed lines

A highway=path with any of the tags horse=designated, bicycle=designated, foot=designated may be rendered equally to a bridleway, a cycleway or a footway, depending on the map.

See also