Scottish Paths Map

Welcome to our Scottish Paths Map; the best-ever map of the nation’s paths!

Our online map features hundreds of previously-hidden trails, thanks to data collated from numerous sources, including paths recorded and audited by 100 Ramblers volunteers.

As of August 2021, it shows almost 42,000 miles of paths – from traffic-free city routes to high mountain trails – including many that are not shown on Ordnance Survey maps.

This is the best-ever map of Scottish paths, but we know it can still be improved and expanded - so please exercise caution and remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. We've trained our volunteers to carry out high-quality surveys, but path audits will always be subjective. If you have feedback, please email mappingscotlandspaths@ramblers.org.uk. There are many paths still to be audited and captured - help improve the data by volunteering.

For a full screen version, click here

 

 

Paths are marked in purple on the map until audited by volunteers – when they turn green and include useful details such as a path’s surfacing, condition, waymarking and any obstacles.

Remember that -  like on print maps - the fact that a path is on our map does not automatically mean that access rights apply. Please always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. As paths are audited we will remove those where access rights do not apply.

Since 2019 our volunteers have completed around 1,500 path surveys, adding almost 450 unmapped paths that total more than 85 miles in length.

There is huge capacity for our map to expand in future, so we are urging walkers to volunteer to help audit the data and record hidden paths in your owns areas.

We believe that shining a light on these hidden paths will create better walking links between communities, opportunities for fun days out and space for people to boost their health outdoors. 

The map can be used on desktop or mobile devices, wherever there is a signal. Rather than replacing traditional maps – it is instead designed to help you plan journeys, highlight gaps and promote paths and routes. 

In future, we intend to make the entire Scottish Paths Map dataset downloadable for free in various popular formats.   

What background mapping are you using?

We currently use OpenStreetMap as the base map for the Scottish Path Map. OpenStreetMap is used by many online mapping services, including those provided by some Scottish Government agencies.

OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafes, railway stations, and much more, all over the world. 

OpenStreetMap is not designed specifically as a tool to support walking, so its contributors simply map geographic features that exist on the ground.

This means that there may be geographical features present on the base map where access rights do not apply.  

 

Who are your partners and funders?

The Mapping Scotland’s Paths project has received generous funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. 

Project partners include Argyll & Bute Council, British Horse Society, Inverclyde Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, Renfrewshire Council, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, RSPB Scotland, Green Action Trust, Woodland Trust Scotland, Scottish Forestry, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Paths for All, ScotWays and NatureScot.

The project also draws on existing open-source data including Open Street Map© contributors.

How can I follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code?

In Scotland we have world-class rights of public access to most land and inland water thanks to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. 

Everyone in Scotland has statutory rights of access, as long as these rights are exercised responsibly.  Guidance on responsible access is given in Scottish Outdoor Access Code. 

The Code has three main principles: 

  • Respect the interests of other people 
  • Care for the environment 
  • Take responsibility for your own actions. 

This ScotWays list is a useful reminder of where Scottish access rights do not apply. 

How can I keep up with the progress of the project?

We regularly update this page as the project progresses. If you work for a partner organisation and would like more regular updates, please let us know and we will add you to our distribution list for regular email updates. We'll keep Ramblers Scotland members informed throughout the project.

How can partner organisations get involved with the project?

If you have data which could contribute to the project across Scotland, we'd love to hear from you! Ideally, we will need data in a shapefile or other GIS format.

If you are a community group, please feel free to contact us to discuss ways in which we could potentially work together.

You can also receive our Mapping Scotland's Paths newsletter by emailing us

What kind of volunteering opportunities are there, and when can I sign up?

Volunteering to assist with the Mapping Scotland’s Paths project will generally involve going out and about exploring your local area. You will be able to either gather information about paths which are in our network to make the data more robust and useful or capture new paths that have not previously been mapped.

We will be expanding the project and recruiting more volunteers at multiple points throughout 2021 and beyond.

If you are interested in getting involved, find out more information about the volunteering opportunities here.

 

What are the timescales for the project?

Our project manager joined on a two-year contract in summer 2019. The first meeting of the Proof of Concept partners took place in early October 2019. The Proof of Concept dataset was completed by summer 2020, with the further roll-out across Scotland announced in August 2020.

Throughout 2021 we will be expanding our volunteer base to get more people involved in gathering data about their local path network. 

With the extension due to furlough, the project is currently due to run until November 2021. The aim is for the project to continue beyond this date and work is underway to scope out Phase 2 of the project and to secure funding for this. We want to ensure a sustainable future for the database we’re creating.