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Hi, I just signed up on OSM because my GPS app uses OSM and a hiking trail was not showing up that I know about. I queried the trail and it was tagged with highway=cycleway. This trail is multi-use mountain biking and hiking trail but no horses allowed. It is located in a wilderness area near Mount Charleston, Nevada and is a basic dirt track with patches of boulders, gravel, and is no more than 3 or 4 ft wide. It is found on mountain biking apps such as Trail Forks. The name of the trail is Showgirl. What tags should this trail have and how do I go about correcting the existing tags?


asked 26 Apr '20, 23:53

Jerry%20Maoli's gravatar image

Jerry Maoli
accept rate: 0%


This is independently discussed on the tagging mailing list

(27 Apr '20, 04:29) escada

And also on the wiki

(27 Apr '20, 14:07) H_mlet

highway=cycleway on its own is a misleading tag, as people will see this and expect that they can ride it with a normal city, touring or road bike. Cycling route-planners will parse this tag as a way that they can safely route bikes along it.

highway=path on its own is always a bad tag because it gives no hints as to the construction, purpose and quality of the trail.

So the trick here will be to add several tags to better illustrate the nature of the trail. At a minimum I'd suggest you include surface= and mtb:scale=.

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answered 27 Apr '20, 16:42

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%


As said in the comment there is ongoing discussion on the best way of tagging mountain biking trails.

In the meanwhile highway=cycleway is not too bad if your trail is mostly for bikes, even if it's usually more for long distance (flat?) cycling.

Your trail might be better with an highway=path, and relevant access tags, if it's equally for hiking and biking.

One should note that foot access on cycleways is not deterministic. In USA it should be allowed by default, but it's probably safer to add a foot=yes tag, if you keep the cycleway tag.

There might be a problem with your GPS app in this, as it should display cycleways IMHO.

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answered 27 Apr '20, 14:37

H_mlet's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

I took a brief look at the area and saw that a good portion of the Showgirl Trail is tagged as highway=path. The rendering of a "path" is dependent on who is making the map and for what purpose the map is intended.

In all likelihood, your cycling application doesn't render a path as a highway that's usable by bicycles so paths might not appear on it at all. You should not take that as a justification to simply change that portion of the Showgirl Trail to a cycleway without checking it in person, however.

(27 Apr '20, 14:59) AlaskaDave

Well I'd say half is tagged path, and the other half cycleway. I think (never been there myself) that both should be tagged the same. Either path, with bicycle=yes|designated, or cycleway with foot=yes. surface=dirt and mtb_scale= would be great also I guess.

Oh and I'm pretty sure that the bottom of the trail should be connected to the road !

And while looking around, Desert View Point doesn't look like a hamlet to me and the road at Angel Peak seems all wrong and there are even highway=road at the end of the road !

Lot of little things to do in this area if you want to start mapping and know this place @Jerry Maoli. Think about contacting previous mappers to ask about their choices.


(27 Apr '20, 15:18) H_mlet

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question asked: 26 Apr '20, 23:53

question was seen: 1,392 times

last updated: 27 Apr '20, 16:42

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