Biking on public lands is always a thrill, and exploring these amazing places on two wheels just got a little easier. Following a Secretarial Order and months of public consultation, Interior and its bureaus are issuing regulations that will expand access to e-bikes on public lands. E-bikes have small electric motors -- usually no more than one horsepower -- that are charged by pedaling and assist riders up hills and give them a boost over tough terrain. In appearance, they are virtually indistinguishable from other types of bicycles.
As with all new technology, the agencies had to review research concerning the safety and impacts of e-bike sand formulate appropriate rules. With that done, managers at national wildlife refuges, national parks and other recreational areas will now possess additional tools to increase the number of places where riding e-bikes is allowed. That means more access with less sweat!
Before you head out, be sure you remember the following tips so you can have a safe and happy experience.
The new rules will affect biking on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation.
The more than 245 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. Here, you will find many places for riding e-bikes, including any area or trail where off-highway vehicles are currently allowed. E-bikes allow public lands to be more accessible to all Americans and make bicycle travel easier for those with physical limitations.
To stay up-to-date with the latest e-bike information as it becomes available on BLM-managed public lands, contact your local BLM office.
Biking is a great way to stay active and healthy outdoors. At national wildlife refuges, biking offers another way to easily access nearby nature, view stunning vistas, and experience wildlife spectacles like bird and butterfly migrations. From Alaska to Alabama and from California to Connecticut, visitors can enjoy nature from their bikes at dozens of wildlife refuges across the United States and its territories.
Explore a full list of pedal-friendly refuges and some stunning bike trails you can experience across the country. Wildlife refuges offering traditional biking may now allow e-bikes on designated trails and pathways, increasing your biking options. Contact your local national wildlife refuge to learn about specific biking options.
National parks are not only some of the best places in the world to experience natural beauty, amazing wildlife and our rich cultural heritage, they also are home to some terrific biking opportunities. On an e-bike or regular bicycle, you can pedal along Skyline Drive at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Going-To-The-Sun Road at Glacier National Park in Montana or down the slopes of a volcano at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. These incredible experiences should be available to everyone, and the new e-bike rules allow even more people a chance to get out and grab adventure by the handlebars.
The Bureau of Reclamation is famous for large dams and vast reservoirs, but also plays a major role in promoting outdoor recreation. While the recreation areas developed as a result of Reclamation water projects are among the nation's most popular for boating, swimming and fishing, there are also many remarkable places available for on land adventures, including bike trails. New e-bike rules will encourage even more people to explore these trails where visitors can cruise past roaring rivers and calm, blue lakes. And while you won’t need a personal floatation device, we do recommend wearing a helmet.