WikiProject United States Long Distance Trails

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Flag of United States Part of WikiProject United States.

The USA is home to many world-famous long-distance trails, but freely-available maps for these can be difficult to find. OpenStreetMap can solve that by organizing, entering and keeping updated all international/continental, national, regional and local trails.

A trail in the US implies a primary focus on Walking Routes, even as many additionally allow equestrians, road bicycles, mountain bikes, snowmobiles, roller-skates/blades, all-terrain vehicles and other types of travel modalities on part or all of it.

For primary focus on US long-distance Cycle routes (not trails), see WikiProject U.S. Bicycle Route System.

Tagging Conventions

The network=* tag is used for Walking Routes, Cycle routes and many other types of routes. Consequently, an infrastructure segment allowing multiple travel modalities (e.g. hiking and biking) overloads the network=* tag of a single route relation. So, use separate relations (one for hiking, one for biking, etc., each with the appropriate single-value network=* tag) that include member segments where that particular travel modality is allowed. It may also be correct (for example, for a segment of Regional Walking Route which is also a Regional Cycling Route) to tag a single route relation with network=rwn;rcn but this "semicolon syntax" may not be supported by a particular renderer or router. This is analogously true for the route=* tag.


For tagging paths, guideposts, shelters, sources of drinking water, camp sites, etc., refer to general guidelines of Hiking.


Each hiking trail/route should be represented as relation. Do not add trail specific tags to ways or nodes.

Key Value Explanation
type route indicates this Relation represents a route
route hiking Indicates that this route is for hiking.
name * The name of the trail if applicable. (e.g. Quinnipiac Trail, Appalachian Trail,...)
ref * The route is known by this reference (e.g. "E1")
network iwn
International walking network: long distance trails that cross country/international boundaries
National walking network: National scenic trails
Regional walking network: medium distance trails that cross several regions (e.g. New England Trail)
Local walking network: short walking trails in National/State parks, city parks or gardens
operator operator name Authority/company responsible for maintaining trail e.g. "Connecticut Forest and Park Association"
symbol symbol description Human readable description of the trail symbol, e.g., "Blue stripe"
colour * Either CSS color name (e.g. red) or an RGB color code (hex triplet) (e.g. #FF0000). If more than one color, separate values by colon (e.g. blue:yellow).
osmc:symbol waycolor :background :foreground :foreground2 :text:textcolor (optional) Machine readable description of trial symbol used by e.g. Waymarked Trails.
e.g. osmc:symbol = blue::blue_stripe for Blue Blazed Trails
complete yes/no Yes, if trail is completely mapped.
education yes/no (Optional) Yes, if trail is self-guided educational trail.
description a short description (Optional) What is special about this route
state proposed / alternate / temporary (Optional) Sometimes routes may not be permanent or may be in a proposed state.
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. 12.5 km)
roundtrip yes/no (Optional) Use roundtrip=no to indicate that a route goes from A to B and instead of being circular (roundtrip=yes).
oneway yes/no (Optional) Use oneway=yes to indicate that the route is to be walked in only one direction, according to the signposts on the ground
website * (Optional) website that describes the route
wikipedia language:page title (Optional) wikipedia page that describes the route

Symbol tags

Picture Symbol osmc:symbol=* lonvia wander
Blue stripe.png blue stripe blue::blue_stripe ok ?
White stripe.png white stripe white::white_stripe ok ?
Yelow stripe.png yellow stripe yellow::yellow_stripe ok ?
Orange stripe.png orange stripe orange::orange_stripe ok ?
Blue stripe red dot.png blue stripe with red dot blue_red::blue_stripe:red_dot ? ?
Blue stripe red rectangle lower.png blue stripe with lower red rectangle blue_red::blue_stripe:red_rectangle_lower ? ?
Blue stripe yellow rectangle lower.png blue stripe with lower yellow rectangle blue_yellow::blue_stripe:yellow_rectangle_lower ? ?
Blue stripe white rectangle lower.png blue stripe with lower white rectangle blue_white::blue_stripe:white_rectangle_lower ? ?
white circle white::white_dot
green circle green::green_dot
yellow circle yellow::yellow_dot
orange circle orange::orange_dot
red circle red::red_dot
blue circle blue::blue_dot
blue square blue::blue_rectangle
green square green::green_rectangle
yellow square yellow:yellow_rectangle
white diamond white::white_diamond

Route relations have been at least started for these trails:

National Scenic Trails

Other Interstate Trails

Regional Trails

Rendered Trail Maps

Outside Resources