'Trails marked on a map' - to be or not to be…

Every now and then we get asked questions about the trail maps that we offer…
Should a Trail Map have a trail 'marked' on it?

Not necessarily.

There are a number of factors as to why not all Trail Maps have the trail marked on them.
  • The trail keeps changing position, or was never marked, which is common in the US.
  • In smaller countries too many published trails would clutter the map data.
  • For legal reasons.
  • Other…
Do RouteBuddy sell some 'Trail Maps' without a marked trail?


RouteBuddy want to offer the widest range of topographic maps for our customers, for each country, we have to accept that some trails are marked on maps, some aren't yet and some may never be. That's just the way it is.

Explanatory naming
becomes a problem when we put together a store title, after all something like below would be ridiculous:
'Scottish National Trail - this is a Trail Map but it does not have the trail marked on the map because, for some reason the cartographers haven't put it there yet but we wanted to create this map for those who want to walk the trail and don't mind loading a GPX trail file if they need extra guidance'.
I think you see the issue, which is why we keep to the simple term 'Trail Maps'.

RouteBuddy Trail Maps encompass each trail with a wide margin, width depending on type. GPX route files, for map route overlay, are freely available to download from many sources on the internet; depending on source they tend to have the most recent information on them for each trail.

Recently produced Trail Maps for Scotland - based on OS 25K map data.

We've used the UK as a case example because this is probably the prominent country for comprehensive topographic map detail on its OS maps.

These trails exist

but are not marked on the 25K OS map:
Cape Wrath Trail is a major trail and very well known.
Forth Clyde Canal a popular smaller trail.
Scottish National Trail another major trail, also very well known.
Three Lochs Way another popular smaller trail.

Other notable trails we haven't made maps for that are still waiting to be recognised on 25K OS maps are The Scottish Watershed Trail (for which we created a custom trail map for Chris to plan his route) and the Cross Borders Drove Road.

Staying with Scotland
we can see that there are 1,889 trails listed on the WalkHighlands web site - it's highly doubtful that all of those are printed on OS maps, even for Scotland that could well be a lot of clutter.

England and Wales
There are in the number of 1,500 to 2,000 well publicised trails for both of these countries, once again a lot of visual map clutter if all included. RouteBuddy haven't yet created more maps for England and Wales other than the Monarchs Way and our National Trails, but we have created the South Yorkshire Way another Trail Map which is still not marked on the OS 25K map.

Who has more trail maps available for the customer?

RouteBuddy - go to our store to view these trail maps: UK OS Trail Maps - or - UK Harvey Trail Maps - or - USA TRAIL MAPS.
Do others sell 'Trail Maps' where the trail is not marked on the map?

Yes of course, The Wainwright Coast to Coast Trail Map is a good example…

Offers The Coast to Coast map, from the same OS data that we use.
Offers The Coast to Coast map, from the same OS data that we use.
Offers The Coast to Coast map, from the same OS data that we use.
…and in the RouteBuddy Store:
Wainwright's Coast to Coast map, created from the same OS data others use.

They just don't offer as many trail maps as RouteBuddy do.

Can RouteBuddy do better?

Yes, RouteBuddy also offer Harvey's Coast to Coast Maps with the trails marked on them.

Harvey's 'Coast to Coast' Walkers Map in the RouteBuddy Store

Harvey's 'Coast to Coast' MTB Map in the RouteBuddy Store
See for yourself
Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk
A quick search of the internet for 'gpx coast to coast trail' brings up this Google results page.

If we take the topmost site it can be seen that the 'GPS Cycle and Walking Routes' page offers a freely downloadable GPX file you can use in RouteBuddy Software.

Download a free demo copy of RouteBuddy from here:
Mac OS X

You can also load this file into our iOS Navigation app RouteBuddy Atlas.

Open the RouteBuddy desktop application then Drag and Drop the GPX file onto the map window or Places/Folder section. This will instantly load to show the location of the walk, although detailed topographic maps are needed to view this over a map, you can see the result by viewing map images below…
RouteBuddy Coast-to-Coast Trail
Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk was designed by him and publicised in 1973 but, nearly fifty years later, it is still not marked on OS maps.

Click through images to see lack of trail on OS map

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