How to create mountains trail (barely a path) but with good markings?

I would like to know the most appropriate way to create a ‘path’ with character as follows:

  1. intermediate mountain area (alps around 2.500 m, mostly grassy slope, fairly steep)
  2. barely used track, visibility of the path: some traces at best, otherwise no path
  3. abundant marking!
  4. can be used without using hands

In openstreets the visibility of a path and markings are coupled properties, but in this case the visibility of the path is extremely poor (barely a path present) but there is good marking.

Have a look at these pages:

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Indeed, as you say, if following approved documentation Key:trail_visibility - OpenStreetMap Wiki to the letter, you are to tag trail_visibility=excellent.

One might argue, that the key is not about visibility of the path on the ground but about the amount of orienteering necessary to follow the route?

Note that in the mountain hiking scale of the Swiss Alpine Club, that was the base for the openstreetmap sac_scale key, trail visibility is just one of several aspects in the mix and refers to visibility on the ground and does not mention markers much. I remember having read that trail visibility got singled out e.g. to allow T1 paths across grassy places get tagged trail_visibility=no - in a manoeuver to not appear as something applicable to routes but ways instead.

Regarding difficulty, one of the mountain_hiking values might fit. This can only be set with knowledge of the site.

My question is about the two contradicting visibilty properties, in the case I want to solve: path mostly absent but abundant marking present. The path itself is mostly not visible but orientation should be no big problem for who is not colorblind.
I’ve no problem asinging a difficulty (I’ve been there) its about interpretation of “visibilty” (and my opinion that marking should be fully independent property).

In addition to trail_visibility, there are also the trailblazed and trailblazed:visibility keys. Perhaps trailblazed:visibility=good + trail_visibility=bad would describe the situation.


Thanks, I suppose that’s the best way. My only reservation: quality of marking varies a lot in time and depends on maintentance.

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Is it time to update the documentation of trail_visibility=* - I also prefer your solution to what the wiki says. (It says so since the key was created in 2009, so we would go against approved proposal text.)