New Policy Allows E-Bikes On National Park System Trails

Electric, motor-propelled bicycles, or e-bikes, in a National Park near you. Courtesy photo

National Park Service [NPS] has shaped new policy concerning electric bicycles, or E-bikes.

Detailed in a Friday,  August 30, announcement, new policy  expands recreational opportunities and accessibility. Policy supports Secretary Order 3376, and Secretary’s Order 3366 to create a clear and consistent e-bike policy on all federal lands managed by U.S. Department of Interior as well as increase recreational opportunities on public lands.

Public are enabled to use low-speed, power assisted e-bikes in pedal-bicycle manner, meaning:

allowed on park roads, paved or hardened trails, designated off-road motor vehicle areas and administrative roads.

e-bike operator may only use motor to assist pedal propulsion.

motor may not be used to propel e-bike without rider also pedaling, except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffic.

e-bikes are not permitted in designated wilderness areas.

Facilitating easier, more efficient travel, e-bikes allow riders to go farther via less effort. As alternative to gasoline- or diesel-power, e-bikes also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption, improve air quality as well as decrease traffic congestion, reduce the demand for vehicle parking spaces, and increase the number and visibility of cyclists on the road.

National Park Service’s new e-bike policy is available online for review.

Ripping the trails in accordance with new National Park Service policy. Cannondale photo