Walking Routes

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Walking routes are named or numbered or otherwise signed routes, which may go along roads or trails or combinations of these.

Rendered Walking and Hiking Maps

See also Hiking Map.

Tagging walking and hiking Route Networks

See also Hiking about tagging of ways, points, areas and relations related to hiking.

A route is a customary or regular line of travel, often pre-determined and publicised. It consist of paths taken repeatedly by various people.

To tag a hiking route you create a relation with the appropriate tags and add all elements (points and ways) of the hiking route to this relation.

See also Relation:route.

Tags of the relation

Key Value Explanation
type route indicates this Relation represents a route
route=* hiking Instead of the tag route=hiking there is less frequently also used route=foot.
Don't use route=pilgrimage (almost non-existent) but add pilgrimage=yes to a hiking-route.
name=* a name The route is known by this name (e.g. "Westweg")
ref=* a reference The route is known by this reference (e.g. "E1")
network=* iwn
International walking network: long distance paths that cross several countries
National walking network: long distance paths
Regional walking network: used for walking routes that cross regions
Local walking network: used for small local walking routes
operator=* operator name The route is operated by this authority/company etc. e.g. "Schwarzwaldverein", "Alpenverein"
state=* proposed / alternate / temporary Sometimes routes may not be permanent or may be in a proposed state.
symbol=* symbol description Describes the symbol that is used to mark the way along the route, e.g., "Red cross on white ground" for the "Frankenweg" in Franconia, Germany
colour=* a hex triplet (optional) Colour code noted in hex triplet format. Especially useful for public transport routes. Example: "#008080" for teal colour
description=* a short description What is special about this route
distance=* distance (optional) The distance covered by this route, if known. For information of users and automatic evaluation e.g. of completeness. Given including a unit and with a dot for decimals. (e.g. "12.5km")
ascent=* ascent (optional) The ascent covered by a route in meters. If a route has start and end point at different altitude use descent too
descent=* descent (optional) The descent covered by a route in meters. Use it only if it differs from the ascent (different altitude at start/endpoint of a route).
roundtrip=* yes/no (optional) Use roundtrip=no to indicate that a route goes from A to B and instead of being circular (roundtrip=yes).
osmc:symbol=* * (optional) Some renderer uses the osmc:symbol=* to indicate a route on the map.

Hiking routes are extensively mapped with route relations, and the Lonvia map will render route relations following this proposal and the osmc:symbol=*

Hiking routes are rendered for selected areas in Germany in a Hiking and Trail riding map (german). The tags required for rendering are:

  • type=route
  • route=hiking
  • name=* Meaningful route name suitable for identifying this route.
  • symbol=* Verbal description of the route marker symbols.
  • osmc:symbol=* Coded description of the route marker symbols.


Since the tagging is generic, it is up to each country to decide how to map the hiking networks that exist in their country onto the hierarchy of national/regional/local. For countries with no specific local/regional/national "walking network", it may be helpful to consider whether different trails are managed or funded by government bodies at different levels.









In France we have a well established naming system for hiking route throughout the country (called the GR X for Grande Randonnee=Long Hiking), however there has been a long discussion on talk-fr about the fact that the short names GR, PR, marker colors and shapes (on the ground or trees) and the routes themselves is under a restricted copyright.

Terms are still unclear and asking the Fédération Francaise de la Randonnée Pédestre for permission is on it's way, but we doubt it will succeed. In the meantime, tagging those hiking routes owned by the FFRP ('GR', 'PR') is strongly discouraged as it is breaking the CC licence (excepted for one route which received an explicite permission in New Caledonia).

Other idea are defining ourself some sort of world wide numbered OHT (Open Hiking Trails ;-) ) Sletuffe 13:33, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

For "GR 5" [(c) FFRP ??!] or GTA, problem can be solved by using "Via Alpina", as specifically authorised by the Via Alpina (which, incidentally, made a lot of work with respect to GR 5), see: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/File:Authorisation_ViaAlpina_OSM_accomodation.png Mayeul 11:56, 3 June 2012 (BST)






New Zealand







  • Saint Paul's Trail (Aziz Paul Yolu)
  • Lycian Way (Likya yolu)
  • Phrygian Way (projected) (Frig Yürüyüş Yolu)

United Kingdom

United States

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