Trails and paths

Trails and paths are throughways, paved or unpaved, physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic. Therefore, they don't support motor vehicles such as cars or motorcycles.

Guidelines for trails and paths

When to draw a parallel trail

You can draw a trail parallel to a road when:

  • The trail is separated from the road by a river, railway, or other physical barrier such as a fence.
  • The trail deviates significantly from the road for a majority of its length.
  • The segment connects the road to other segments that meet the above requirements.

Parallel trails with an official name should be added separately with the official name. When the trail (with an official name) does not meet the above requirement of a parallel trail, add the name to the nearby road segment(s) instead.

When to not draw a parallel trail

Some regions have trails that run parallel to the road and are intended for bicycle use. A trail that runs parallel to the road without any barrier in between should not usually be drawn as a separate feature. In such cases, update the Bicycle & Pedestrian Info attribute of the existing road instead.

See Example
The trail highlighted in pink below follows the shape of the road. Although there are trees and a grass median, the trail is not separated from the road by a barrier. This trail should not be drawn separately.

Best Practices

  • When a trail merges with a road, the trail should connect to the road.
  • Seasonal trails such as ski paths and snowmobile trails should not be added since they are not permanently available.
  • Some cities have underground trail networks for pedestrian and bicycle travel. If these underground trails do not pass through buildings, you can add them as linear features with appropriate bicycle and pedestrian attributes. Underground trails that pass through buildings are part of indoor mapping and should not be added in Map Maker at this time.
  • If a section of a path is particularly short and it is not attached to a larger trail network, add it as a No Auto Traffic priority road within the Bicycle & Pedestrian attribute.