Tagging snowmobile trails — is highway=path accurate?

I found two snowmobile routes tagged


. One is an all-year route that is a hiking trail in summer and a ski/snowmobile route in winter. The other is not accessible in summer.

Accessible for hiking in summer, tagged

highway=path, snowmobile=designated



Inaccessible in summer, tagged

highway=path, snowmobile=yes



From the wiki at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway=path?uselang=en, it would seem that


should only be used to paths that are

, so a snowmobile trail that is not accessible in summer should not be tagged highway=path. That means the first example is tagged correctly, whereas the second example is tagged incorrectly. Is my understanding accurate?

How should a snowmobile trail be tagged that is not accessible in summer, and thus is not a highway=path?

My aim is to find hiking paths with a overpass turbo query. I started with highway=path OR highway=footway, but found this catches many snowmobile trails inaccessible for hiking, that are marked highway=path. Then I excluded everything containing the word “snowmobile”, but this excluded too much, as it excludes hiking paths that double as winter snowmobile trails. Now I’m stuck, because the tagging is almost identical between snowmobile routes that do or don’t double as summer trails. I suppose the correct answer would be to retag all the snowmobile routes that are not hiking trails in summer? But how should they be retagged?

Should I simply remove the


tag entirely from those snowmobile routes inaccessible in summer, such that only the




tag is left? That seems to be what https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Sweden/Snowmobile suggests, but I don’t know how official that one is.

No, you can add seasonal=winter (a more specific meaning than intermittent=yes) in general. These can be winter_road=yes or ice_road=yes, depending on what it is.

If it’s unofficial, informal=yes can always be used.

There was a discussion about this on IRC, the general feeling seemed to be that highway=* was a poor tag for snowmobile only routes as these are likely to cross swamps, lakes and even on solid ground will likely have shrub & brushwood vegetation on them.

Also https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/access-tagging-ambiguity/1792