Following a Policy Memorandum from the US Department of the Interior National Parks Service back in August, more dirt roads tracks and trails are now available to e-bikers across the country’s National Parks.
The memorandum states ‘E-bikes are allowed where traditional bicycles are allowed.E-bikes are not allowed where traditional bicycles are prohibited, including wilderness areas…… The intent of this policy is to allow e-bikes to be used for transportation and recreation in a similar manner to traditional bicycles.’
In practice this means park visitors will be able to use e-bikes in the same way they use traditional bikes which, according to a National Parks press release, is “on park roads, paved or hardened trails, areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use and administrative roads.”
Note the e-bike motor may not be used to propel an e-bike without the rider also pedaling, except in locations open to public motor vehicle traffic.’
Of course whilst this doesn’t mean you can ebike anywhere in a National Park (park superintendents ‘retain the right to limit, restrict, or impose conditions of bicycle use and e-bike use in order to ensure visitor safety and resource protection’) it does open up a whole exciting range of e-biking possibilities.
That’s the new law – but where are the best places to go e-biking?
Let’s take a look at the list so far.
Acadia National Park
Acadia is a 47,000 acre National Park found mainly on Maine’s Mountain Desert Island.
Ohio’s National Park gives you the chance to combine waterfalls, hills, trails, historic homes, bridges, and attractive bridge crossings with e-biking.
As you can see in this video this National Park is actively promoting the use of e-bikes:
NPS has details here about the trails available in and around the Park including the best known, the Ohio and Eerie canal towpath which offers the chance of a scenic rail return for you and your bike / e-bike.
Here’s a video of a ride along the towapth:
Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks
Yellowstone is best known for its geothermal features and many large mammals.