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E-Bikes in Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has an internal policy for the use of electric bicycles (e-bikes) on state park and forest lands.

An e-bike is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider when they are pedaling.

E-bikes are allowed on trails already open to traditional bicycle usage as long as users follow guidelines consistent with the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code that e-bikes:

  • Weigh no more than 100 pounds
  • Do not exceed 20 miles-per-hour using the motor
  • Have motors that do not exceed 750 watts
  • Have fully functional, operable pedals

E-bikes can be used on DCNR-managed trails where traditional bikes are allowed. E-bikes are allowed on DCNR-managed motorized trails and public use roads unless they are marked as prohibited to bikes.

E-bike users must propel their e-bikes by pedaling on non-motorized trails; the use of the throttle-only functionality is not permitted on non-motorized trails managed by DCNR.

State forest roads and trails that are not open to biking, which would also prohibit e-bikes include:

  • Natural areas
  • Designated hiking trails (blazed with yellow or orange)
  • Trails or roads specifically marked closed to biking

Other lands open to the public in Pennsylvania (such as federal lands, local parks, gamelands, and preserves) have different requirements related to e-bikes. E-bike users should check the guidelines for their destination before they go.

Riders should be aware of the battery storage capacity of their e-bike and available charging options. Users should not assume that trails open to e-bikes include e-bike charging stations.

E-Bike Policy Documents

Printable Fact Sheet on E-Bikes and Biking in Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests (PDF)

E-Bike Policy for State Parks and Forests (PDF)

E-Bike Policy for State Parks and Forests Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

E-Bike Safety and Etiquette Tips

Safety and courtesy should always be a priority when biking:

  • Know the type and specifications of the device you’re riding and where you can ride it.
  • Maintain safe speeds at all times, consider trail and weather conditions, and always be cognizant of other users along the trail.
  • Stay to the right, pass on the left.
  • Let other trail users know you are coming -- give a friendly greeting.
  • Limit distractions, don’t impair your hearing (i.e., by wearing headphones or ear buds).
  • Obey all trail and road signs.
  • Slow down in congested areas.
  • If you’re on wheels, yield to pedestrians.
  • Use special care when passing horses.
  • Helmets are required by law for persons under the age of 12 and are recommended for bicyclists of all ages.
  • Maintain single file when passing or being passed.
  • Stay on the trail. Do not go off the trail (even to pass), create new trails, or cut switchbacks.
  • Don’t block the trail. When taking a break, move to the side of the trail to allow others to pass safely.
  • Expect the unexpected. Humans and animals can be unpredictable.