I've found maps of the various official long-distance recreation trails all over Europe, and of course there's Google maps to see every other road.

But I'm wondering where or how I can get a map of most if not all of the roads anywhere in Europe that are simply NOT PAVED. And I'm assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that any road that's not paved is an ok road to walk long-distance on since there won't be any high-speed traffic.

  • I would really be surprised to find many unimproved roads (vice walking trails) anywhere in Central Europe.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 3, 2014 at 15:15
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    @pnuts: Well, many road maps indicate which roads are paved and which are not; in principle one could filter this data to show the unpaved roads only. Any database of roads is aiming at a moving target. Jul 4, 2014 at 15:19
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    @CGCampbell: Really? Look here for instance (it's in Germany); the map is absolutely thick with thin gray lines indicating unpaved roads. Jul 4, 2014 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


OpenStreetMap is pretty complete in Europe (at least in the parts I'm familiar with), even when it comes to footpaths. It can be downloaded freely (there are smartphone apps to download the data and browse the map offline).

However, as an aid to hiking, it's lacks critical information for many locations. In particular, there's no elevation. There's no indication of which trails may be impracticable due to flooding or snow, of where and when there are risks of flash floods or avalanches, etc. If you're hiking or cycling in a region with no natural risk and not too many mountains, it's fine.

Most countries have some kind of national map agency which publishes good maps for hiking. But they are usually not free, and the cost to obtain sufficiently detailed maps for all of Europe would be prohibitive.


You will find plenty of small unpaved roads and hiking trails in Central Europe. OpenStreetMap as suggested by Gilles is one possibility, the other are excellent maps (what do you need are so-called topographic maps).

You can acquire them in any bigger town in cartographic shops, there are also often maps given by the tourist information (hiking trails, biking trails) which can also give you the address of map shops.

If you are in hiking for a specific, small town, you can use 1:20 000 (you will see practically every doghouse), for hiking I suggest 1:50 000 which is also used by the German army and for a good overview over an area or an area with sparse infrastructure 1:100 000.

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