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Legally, you are allowed to ride your mountain bike on this trail. From a practical standpoint, you are allowed to carry your mountain bike on this trail.

How would I indicate to a routing engine that this trail is impassible to bicycles, a bit on the rough side for hikers and horseback riders, and perfectly fine for skiers and snowmobile riders, but that all of these uses are legal?

asked 29 Aug '16, 06:48

Carnildo's gravatar image

accept rate: 40%

edited 30 Aug '16, 04:28


How is this path fine for skiers and snowmobile riders? Does this picture just represent a temporary state or is this path not maintained at all, i.e. getting worser and worser? If the latter is true then I wouldn't consider this a path any longer.

(29 Aug '16, 08:02) scai ♦

I would allways map a legal path. Even if blocked users can then complain to get it opened again. If we deleted any blocked country paths and tracks they could soon go out of use and disappear. Those logs look as if the were fairly recently felled and as they are straight will collected and used.

(29 Aug '16, 14:44) andy mackey

@scai, in the winter, the snow is deep enough to cover the logs. The trail is maintained on a "when money is available" basis, and since it's in a little-used corner of the park, that means the fallen trees are cleared out ever few decades.

(29 Aug '16, 16:58) Carnildo

Is much of the trail like this? I would use the lifecycle prefix (perhaps disused)

(29 Aug '16, 23:30) mtc

@mtc, it's not something you can see in a picture, but around here, trails that have been disused for more than a few years build up a layer of debris that gives them a "crunchy" feel to walk on. This trail was quite firm underfoot.

Also not visible in the picture: all of the logs had wear patterns from people climbing over them, and some had un-weathered scratch marks from hiking poles or other hard objects.

(30 Aug '16, 04:26) Carnildo

I'd think valid tags would look like this:

access=yes        {it is legally accessible to all}

smoothness=impassable {it is impassable to vehicles}

The access tag is optional. The OSM default is to assume any route is full access.

Conditionals like "IF the snow is deep enough THEN a snowmobile can use this route" are beyond me. See for the current practice on conditionals.

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answered 14 Nov '21, 13:56

cRaIgalLAn's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 15 Nov '21, 13:22


You don't have to add access=yes to every way that is accessible.

(15 Nov '21, 09:27) scai ♦
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answered 14 Nov '21, 08:28

trapicki's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

barrier=log is seeing some use. I guess routing software might not do the right thing with it at the moment, but it would accurately capture the situation.

A lot of forestry roads in the US are maintained along similar lines. They are open to access, but work is only done on them when they are actively being used to haul logs, or informally by individuals. The OSM key maintenance appears to mostly be used for winter surface treatments (gritting and salting of roads). It's not real popular to tag subjective information, but I think there is room for at least a tag that indicates the road/track/trail does not see regular maintenance. Maybe just maintained=no.

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answered 29 Aug '16, 17:40

maxerickson's gravatar image

accept rate: 32%

edited 29 Aug '16, 23:41


These logs are not victims of a storm; they are criss-cross dropped over the track by the supervisor of the forest, its called maintance. This situation, looks like a discouraging policy, make it hard to use and hikers and bikers will choose another path.

(30 Aug '16, 08:55) Hendrikklaas

I think that hendrikklaas is exactly right here (though maybe it's deterring off-roader and ATV use rather than hikers).

(30 Aug '16, 09:09) SomeoneElse ♦

I wouldn't want to say without looking at the bases of the trees. Are they tip ups or saw cut stumps?

It certainly wouldn't surprise me to walk up on such storm damage in a less used US recreation area (where removing the logs might be left to the first volunteer who happens to hike in with a chainsaw).

(30 Aug '16, 13:49) maxerickson

Those are naturally-fallen trees -- the roots are still attached, which is part of the reason why they're off the ground. Deliberate blockages look more like this or this.

(30 Aug '16, 19:46) Carnildo

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question asked: 29 Aug '16, 06:48

question was seen: 2,660 times

last updated: 15 Nov '21, 13:22

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