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Public-images-osm logo.svg route = mtb
Mtb schild bad harzburg ws 06 2007.JPG
MTB (Mountain Bike) routes are named, numbered or otherwise signed routes, designated for mountain biking. May go along roads, trails or dedicated cycle paths. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: routes
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: de facto

MTB (Mountain bike) routes are named or numbered or otherwise signed routes, designated for mountain biking. They may go along roads, trails or dedicated cycle paths, or a combination of these.

Also see the more common tag route=bicycle for general bicycle / cycling routes.

How to map

MTB routes are mapped in a relation relation of type=route, which consists of a number of highway=* ways. In the relation the following characteristics should be included:

  • type=route mandatory
  • route=mtb mandatory
  • network=* - if the route is part of the local (lcn), regional (rcn), national (ncn) or international (icn) cycle network.
  • ref=* - Reference number or code, found on signs or markers
  • name=* - Commonly used name of the route, found on signs
  • operator=* - operator
  • network:type=node_network - If the route is part of a node network

Optional features

  • distance=* - The distance covered by a route in km
  • ascent=* - The ascent covered by a route in metres (meters). If a route has start and end points at different altitude, use descent=* too.
  • descent=* - The descent covered by a route in metres (meters). Use it only if it differs from the ascent=*.
  • roundtrip=yes - Indicates that the start and finish of the route are at the same location (circular route).
  • signed_direction=yes - The route is to be cycled in only one direction, according to the signposts on the ground. This is more common with network=lcn routes. The ways within the relation should be ordered, as they are used to determine the direction of the signposts.
  • mtb:scale=0-6 - Difficulty grading for mtb use for level and downhill trails.
  • mtb:scale:uphill=0-5 - Difficulty grading for mtb uphill use. Used if there is a significant inclination.
  • mtb:scale:imba=0-4 - Difficulty grading for mtb use for purpose-built tracks. Mainly used in North America.


Way/node Role Description
way (blank) The ways making up the route.
way forward/backward If a route should be followed in only one direction for some or all of its length, the "role" can indicate this for some or all of the constituent ways. "forward" means the route follows this way only in the direction of the way, and "backward" means the route runs only against the direction of the way.


Most of the time, elements will be added with an empty role. For recreational route relations, a basic functional role set has been approved, see https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Recreational_route_relation_roles The approved roles are: main, alternative, approach, excursion, and connection. When no role is set, main is assumed. The roles are applicable to way members and relation members. Note that in relations containing ways with the directional roles backward and forward, the functional roles should not be used. As yet, there is no approved way to assign multiple roles to one element. In such cases, you can create a child relation for the variant and add it as a member with the appropriate role.

See also