Dirt Roads?

brad.herder's Avatar


01 Aug, 2017 11:47 AM

Is there any way to see dirt roads?

I have been searching all over for a product that can do that. I like to organize bike rides on dirt roads and would love to have an easy way to see them but can't find any products that do that.

If it's possible in CalTopo, please let me know how.

If not, does anyone know of a product that shows them?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by matt on 01 Aug, 2017 03:45 PM

    matt's Avatar

    A number of the map layers CalTopo uses distinguish between paved and dirt roads by using solid lines for paved roads and dashed lines for dirt ones. However there isn't a specific search tool, or a way to show only dirt roads and ignore others. Not familiar with an alternative that would.

  2. 2 Posted by Brad Herder on 01 Aug, 2017 09:34 PM

    Brad Herder's Avatar

    I don't need search capability, just visual. I tried several layers (all of them I think) and looked at roads in Maine and Massachusetts and I couldn't see a difference between dirt ones and paved ones.

    If there's a specific layer I could try, please let me know.


    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by matt on 02 Aug, 2017 03:29 AM

    matt's Avatar

    For that area, if the "USGS 7.5'" and "MapBuilder Topo" layers don't have an accurate reflection of whether a road is dirt vs paved, then I don't have anything better, short of switching to satellite and zooming way in. Sorry.

  4. 4 Posted by RSS on 29 Oct, 2017 02:48 PM

    RSS's Avatar

    What is the difference between the red-dashed trails and the black-dashed trails? Red=single track? Black=fire road?

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by matt on 30 Oct, 2017 01:47 AM

    matt's Avatar

    Yes, to the extent that it's recorded properly in OpenStreetMap. In more urban areas where you have parks with fire roads that are closed to motor vehicle travel, it may be a toss up whether they show up as red or black.

  6. 6 Posted by nate.berkopec on 16 Dec, 2017 11:01 PM

    nate.berkopec's Avatar

    For anyone coming to this discussion later, the *only* way I've been able to find accurate dirt road information was to look at state DOT maps. Usually they have county-by-county road inventories which have accurate info on where the unmaintained/dirt/gravel roads are.

  7. matt closed this discussion on 02 Jan, 2018 06:30 PM.

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