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Portal for WikiProject Switzerland

Hiking paths and hiking routes

The cantonal organisations of Swiss Hiking are running a network of more than 60,000km of hiking paths. In the framework of SwitzerlandMobility they are running the project Hiking in Switzerland with a multitude of national, regional and local hiking routes within their network. Additionally, there a various regional and local hiking routes from other organisations.

Hiking routes

Hiking in Switzerland

Hiking in Switzerland describes 6 national routes (No. 1-6), 57 regional routes (No 22-99), and 143 local routes. The national and regional routes are tagged with a green square beside the yellow guidepost. This square contains the number and the name of the route.

Other routes

Additionally, there are many regional routes (e.g. Tour des Muverans) and local routes (e.g. Sentiers des Narcisses or On the Tracks of the Fox) that are run by various organisations.

Recommended tagging

The routes should be described with relations.

Tag Description
route=hiking This is a hiking route.
name=* official name of the route (for example: "Via Alpina")
ref=* Number of the route, as written on the guidepost (without nwn/rwn classification)
network=nwn/rwn Type of the route. nwn for national routes, rwn for regional routes
symbol=* description of the way marker, preferably in the local language, e.g. weisse 47 auf grünem Rechteck (white 47 on green rectangle)
osmc:symbol=* machine-readable description
operator=Wanderland Schweiz official operator


See the separate status page.

Hiking path network

The following section is a proposal. Comments are welcome

The hiking network in Switzerland allows nearly any place to be reached by foot. The paths are usually maintained by the cantonal organisations of Swiss Hiking. The paths are classified by three levels of difficulties: Hiking paths (yellow markers), mountain paths (white-red-white markers) and alpine paths (white-blue-white markers).

Recommended tagging

The hiking network is different from common hiking routes: only the line between guideposts are labeled, not whole routes. Tagging works if only those lines between the nodes are added to a route relation. The nodes themselves are tagged as hiking guidepost.

Nodes (guideposts)

Labeled guidepost "Breitenau"

The hiking nodes are labeled guideposts. Each of them contains a small white signboard with the name of the place (usually open fields names) and the elevation over mean sea level. They should be tagged as described on tag:information=guidepost.

Tag Description
tourism=information Tourist information
information=guidepost a guidepost
name=* Name from guidepost label, for example:
ele=* If available, elevation over mean sea level, for example:
hiking=yes Define hiking guidepost
image=* Photo of guidepost: for more details such as hiking duration, direction,



Use a suitable category on Wikimedia Commons, e.g.:

Hiking and footpath signs in the canton of Obwalden


A way between two guideposts is tagged as a usual hiking relation.

Tag Description
route=hiking This is a hiking route
network=lwn local hiking network
symbol=* free-text description of way marker, preferably in the local language
osmc:symbol=* machine-readable description of the way marker: yellow::yellow_diamond (hiking path), red:white:red_bar(mountain path), blue:white:blue_bar(alpine path)
operator=* official operator, if known. Example: "Verein Berner Wanderwege"
note=begin-end (optional) Start and end hiking node of the route. Example: "Breitenau-Egg"
osmc:name=* descriptive Name for the OSMC Reit- und Wanderkarte. Without this tags the route will not be rendered. It is also used for the directory of hiking routes.
name=* descriptive Name for the OSMC Reit- und Wanderkarte. Without this tags the route will not be rendered. It is also used for the directory of hiking routes.


Hiking routes are typically included in the GIS platforms of the cantons. Some of these datasets are published as open data.

Canton Description Link
Thurgau WMS, respectively WFS, service of hiking routes in the canton of Thurgau published on opendata.swiss [1]