I’ve been a user of OSM for hiking purposes for a long time, and recently I though it would be wise to contribute a bit, especially every time I hike a trail that is not on the map. So, I just started mapping.
However, yesterday I run (actually, hiked) into a dilemma: if you look at this area
you’ll notice that the trail coming down from the Hoamut summit heading west ends in… nothing. I actually hiked down that way, and indeed, shortly after it ends on the map, the trail meets some grass spots in a quite open and clean forest, and fades away… what was a well visible mountain trail merges into a net of barely defined walking paths through the woods (mainly the work of people looking for mushrooms). However, from that point you can freely walk through the woods and grass fields until you reach the road (a bit less obvious is the opposite, i.e. reaching the trailhead from the road, since the finding the best path to go uphill is somewhat harder).
Here’s my dilemma: should I connect the trail to the road using the path (not trail!) I followed through the woods 9I have the GPS track I can use for it)?
If I do, I would be marking as “trail” something that is not a trail. Is just a path (among many) you can walk because the terrain is so easy. I would however be signaling that the trailhead is indeed accessible, and suggesting a possible approach path (not necessarily the best, just one).
If I leave the map as is, it is probably more accurate, since there is not well defined trail after the point the current trace ends; however, I also give no information about the accessibility of the trailhead and (at least one possible) approach path. Also, that trail as it is now is quite useless for navigation software, since it leads nowhere…
Are there defined guidelines to deal with these scenarios? What is the general feeling?
So you know, if I were to decide, I would add a trail connecting to the road, but I’d rather listed to some more experience user…
Awaiting for guidance
Thanks for reading