Where can I ride an electric bike?
Whether your electric bike is your first bike, or you’re transitioning to an e-bike from a traditional bicycle, it’s important to know where you can and can’t ride. E-bikes are regulated by individual states, and in some cases by municipalities as well, so be sure to get familiar with your local laws.
In most states across the country, electric bikes are treated like traditional bicycles when it comes to access to bicycle trails, lanes and paths. This means that you can ride your e-bike virtually anywhere you’d ride a traditional bike. Whether you’re riding for exercise, for transportation, or simply for the fun of it, you can e-bike the best mix of roads, paths and trails to get to your destination.
In US national parks, e-bikes are currently permitted on any trails open to pedal bicycles, with some exceptions. This is great news, as it makes some of the most beautiful places in the country accessible by e-bike. As a result, an e-bike is your round-trip ticket to adventures you might never have considered on a traditional bike, or by hiking.
Moving forward, electric bikes will have even more access to trails in lands managed by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation, thanks to recently-finalized regulations from the US Department of the Interior.
The US Forest Service has opened about 60,000 miles, or nearly 40 percent of its national forest and grasslands trails to e-bike travel. Electric bikes are also allowed on thousands of miles of roads in national parks and grasslands (at maintenance level 2, 3, or 4).
Since electric bicycle related policies are evolving, be sure to get the latest updates from the parks and public lands you plan to visit prior to a ride or vacation with your e-bike.
Great online resources can get you onto the right path, wherever you’re riding. PeopleForBikes.org has an excellent state-by-state e-bike guide that provides an overview of the laws governing electric bicycle riding in each state. Be sure to check out the guide, then strap on your helmet and get going on your next great adventure!