United States/Long distance trails

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Flag of United States Part of United States mapping project.

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 United States_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.

Section of paths can be further refined by adding information about terrain difficulty and visibility of the path.


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 international boundaries
National walking network: National scenic trails
Regional walking network: medium distance trails that cross or link several regions (e.g. New England Trail)
Local walking network: short walking trails in National/State parks, city parks or gardens that form a cohesive network
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 trail 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 OsmAnd
Blue stripe.png blue stripe blue::blue_stripe ok ? ok
White stripe.png white stripe white::white_stripe ok ? ok
Yelow stripe.png yellow stripe yellow::yellow_stripe ok ? ok
Orange stripe.png orange stripe orange::orange_stripe ok ? ok
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

More information on osmc:symbol tagging:

Route relations have been at least started for these trails:

National Scenic Trails

Other Interstate Trails

Regional Trails

Rendered Trail Maps

Outside Resources