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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = bridleway
Bridleway, Dorset - geograph.org.uk - 156273.jpg
A way intended for use by equestrians. Edit or translate this description.
Group: Highways
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesmay be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto

A way intended for use by horse riders (primarily) and pedestrians (depending on country-specific regulations). They may be legally designated as rights of way for pedestrians and equestrians (horses). Depending on the country, cyclists may be also permitted, though the surface may not be suitable.

How to map


To map a bridleway nothing else than a simple way is required. Add the highway=bridleway tag to it. You can also add a name=* and ref=* if appropriate.

Country-dependent regulations

England and Wales: Public bridleways

Main article: UK access provisions#England and Wales

Many bridleways in England and Wales are rights of way, legally designated as "Public bridleways". This gives a right to travel on foot or horseback. Cyclists are also permitted (by Countryside Act of 1968) unless subject to orders made by local authority. Usually bridleways are signed "no cycles" where this is the case and a reasonable default assumption is that cycles are permitted where not explicitly prohibited. There is no obligation to ensure suitability for use by bicycle.

Public bridleways should be tagged: highway=bridleway and designation=public_bridleway

Germany: Public ways vs. forests/farmland

In Germany, bridleways on public land is regulated by the traffic code (Straßenverkehrsordnung). The blue sign StVO 238 designates a way for riding only. Thus using by pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles is excluded, as long as no special permission is given by additional signage.

Only those public bridleways should tagged with highway=bridleway.

Zeichen 238 - Sonderweg Reiter, StVO 1992.svg

On the other hand, in forests and on farmland the access is regulated in individual law in the federal states. Often, riding is generally prohibited in forests, and only allowed individually on particular ways. This would be posted, e.g., on small signs along these ways.

Reiterlaubnis am Waldweg DE.jpg

Thus, as usage for riding is a subordinated aspect on such forestry ways, they should not be tagged as 'bridleways', but instead as highway=track, if they can be used by two-track (forestry) vehicles, otherwise as highway=path. In addition, the access by horse is given with the tag horse=yes. Further details of the state-specific regulation can be found on the respective German Wikipedia page


Mapnik: Rendering-highway bridleway.png

See also