[Talk-us] How to map snowmobile trails in US?

Bob Gambrel rjgambrel at gmail.com
Thu May 7 13:41:33 UTC 2020

Am newby to talk-us. This may have been discussed in the past but not handy
with searching archives yet.

In Minnesota I have seen snowmobile trails mapped in OSM as follows:


In both aerial photos and observation on the ground, there is almost always
no track visible. In the winter, with snow cover, the location of the track
is visible because it is compacted by snowmobiles. In the spring there
might be some evidence in areas with grasses that would have been tamped
down by the snowmobiles.

Question: Is this the right way to map snowmobile trails? The thing that
concerns me, of course, is the use of "track" because of it is not apparent
most of the time.

Another question: is there a forum or expert group or something that
discusses this? I would like to join that conversation if there is  one
going on.

I think it is a good idea to map these trails. It seems there maybe should
be another type of highway? Something like: "not visible on the ground most
of the year". Note that ice_road=yes is not appropriate here (in most
cases) as (in most cases) these trails are not on frozen water bodies.

As further info, where I was able to observe there are a number of signs
posted such as stop signs, caution signs, etc. So there clearly is
government involvement.

Any thoughts?
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