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I am working on a trail/route that is a collection of foot paths and tracks.

My question is what is the correct designation for this route?

Potlatch has 3 options

  1. National Walking route
  2. Regional Walking Route
  3. Local Walking Route

The route is known as the "Backbone Trail". It is definitely not a national walking route could be Regional or Local depending on the definition of these two options.

Where would I find this information? Or is this a consensus driven thing. I can select one or the other and if people object a discussion can be had.


asked 07 Feb '13, 14:54

mattmaxon's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


For info, is it this one that you're talking about?

(07 Feb '13, 21:25) SomeoneElse ♦

If it was the Backbone Trail mentioned by SomeoneElse, it should be tagged as regional, right?

(08 Feb '13, 09:43) gormo

SomeoneElse & gormo yes it is the trail you are refering to. I'm thinking regional as well

(08 Feb '13, 13:17) mattmaxon

I'm thinking national.

(08 Feb '13, 20:36) Baloo Uriza

Paul et al... in my opinion the National designation is for routes like Pacific Crest Trail; Appalachian trail; continental divide trail. These are multi-state trails covering 1000's of miles.

Trails like the Arizona Trail; California Coast Trail remain in the state of origin .

Trails like the Hayduke Trail; Great Allegheny Passage that cross 1 or more states could be tougher calls between National and Regional

(09 Feb '13, 12:36) mattmaxon

I would class any route a reasonably fit and trained hiker can hike in a single day as local. Any multi day hikes would become either regional or national. But I live in a much smaller country, so your mileage may vary. ;)

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answered 07 Feb '13, 17:27

cartinus's gravatar image

accept rate: 27%

This seems logical to me. The Backbone trail even by the fittest hikers could not be hiked in less than 2 days @ about 72 miles

(08 Feb '13, 13:25) mattmaxon

You might look at the WikiProject US Long Distance Trails page for reference/comparison, and consider adding the Backbone Trail there. Also, it's handy to view the trail relation on the Waymarked Trails map.

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answered 08 Feb '13, 18:14

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Region is OSM's not-country-specific way of saying "state" or "province." If it's a state walking trail, regional is the way to go. If it's city or county, go with local.

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answered 08 Feb '13, 07:48

Baloo%20Uriza's gravatar image

Baloo Uriza
accept rate: 9%


You write this as if the scope of the operator and not of the trail itself determines what "category" to use. I think however that a three mile round trip signposted by the national park service is not a national route.

(08 Feb '13, 15:00) cartinus

Short national routes exist quite frequently in the US. In urban areas, it's not uncommon to see national routes of under 5 miles, and there's even several under 1 mile. Scope of the operator and what category they're defining the route as is the bigger factor.

(08 Feb '13, 18:22) Baloo Uriza

Is it really the consensus among US mappers to do this differently than in the rest of the world? If so, is this documented somewhere? If not it might be smart to do so.

Global standard:

(08 Feb '13, 20:41) cartinus

Here's my rationale: If we're trying to stay consistent, then the model would be the UK's cycleway network heirarchy, in which operator's designation is the primary factor in determining network. Indeed, this remains consistent to road networks, nested as they may be in the US.

(08 Feb '13, 21:08) Baloo Uriza

With the UK cycleway network only Sustrans (a national organisation) classifies their routes as either national or regional. For the routes of other operators it is the scope of the route that determines the tag.

I also can't find proof in the US of people tagging short routes as national routes. You would see blue dots/wiggles when panning around on zoom 8 on Waymarked Trails: Hiking if that was the case.

(08 Feb '13, 21:47) cartinus

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question asked: 07 Feb '13, 14:54

question was seen: 3,250 times

last updated: 09 Feb '13, 12:36

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum