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.