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Where to Ride Your Electric Bike

Apr 20, 2022

Once you have purchased an electric bike, you open up a world of possibilities for fun open-air excursions. You can use your e-bike for leisure in your neighborhood or to commute in place of a full-sized vehicle. Another aspect of e-bikes’ claim to fame is that you can enjoy nature paths from a speedier, less physically taxing vantage point. The experience they provide in picturesque environments is thus significantly different than what you might get hiking on foot or pedaling with an unassisted bicycle. As an owner of an e-bike, you should consider visiting some e-bike-friendly trail locations when it is possible for you to do so, especially if you have a love for the outdoors. We’ve collected a list of places to help you figure out where to ride your electric bike within the United States.

Be Aware of the Local and Federal Restrictions

Electric bicycles may be enjoyable to ride on nature trails, but they aren’t always welcome in them. As you plan for a day out or a lengthier trip to a certain destination, you must look up the local, state, and federal regulations regarding e-bikes so that you don’t wind up bringing yours along for nothing. Different areas of land may be managed by different organizations that have differing views on e-bikes. The US Department of the Interior began allowing e-bikes on any pathways where regular bikes could travel recently (in 2019), meaning that you can ride them in the public National Parks. However, there are also groups that operate at the state and local levels and manage certain land areas separately.

It usually comes down to how an e-bike is defined in various places. Sometimes they are treated as motorized vehicles, in the same group as cars, and so they are not permitted on trails alongside normal bikes. At other times, e-bikes are treated in the same way as normal bikes and are given access to trails where large motorized vehicles are typically prohibited. If you are ever uncertain about a trail’s policy on e-bikes, you should look it up online and call the land managers in charge of governing them.

Ketchum, Idaho

Ketchum allows people to ride e-bikes in town on the bike paths there, but the main attraction that will make you want to visit is the abundance of trails in the nearby Sawtooth National Forest. These trails are open to hikers, trail runners, bikers, and even riders of smaller motor vehicles like dirt bikes, so e-bikes are likewise welcome on them.

The most notable trails are part of the Greenhorn Gulch trailhead. There, you will get to ride through a hilly landscape surrounded by fields of grass and other low-growing plants, as well as some trees. This isn’t a problem for a person with an e-bike, as you can turn on the motor assistance when needed. Some of the trees you see may also show signs of being burned due to forest fires that occur in the area. They give the place a unique look and a reminder of the destructive capabilities of nature in addition to its usual calm beauty.

Moab, Utah

Moab has lots of fun trails for people using different modes of transport. You can even rent e-bikes from shops there, speaking to Moab’s friendliness towards them. While you cannot access every pathway with an e-bike, there’s definitely no shortage of options for you either.

Venture into Seven Mile Rim for a fifteen-mile (not seven) circuit journey through mixed terrain including slickrock canyons and sandy desert stretches. Flat Iron Mesa is another path you can take for more of a challenge. The trail has you traveling on top of the canyons, so you will get a wide view of the surrounding formations. As a final suggestion, check out Poison Spider Mesa. This trail is seventeen and a half miles, and parts of it can intersect with doubletrack paths that 4×4 vehicles use.

Jefferson County, Colorado

Colorado is recognized for its stunning scenery, and Jefferson County is no exception. Its twenty-eight parks are collectively known
as Jefferson County Open Space, or Jeffco Open Space, and they’re perfect if you’re wondering where to ride your electric bike. Any pathway that is open to regular bikes is also open to e-bikes, as the land managers there conducted a pilot program a couple years ago and found them to be unharmful.

With so many options, you probably want some recommendations on specific trails to ride. For beginners, the Shadow Pine Loop in Flying J Ranch is ideal because it’s relatively smooth and doesn’t have steep climbs. You see the tall, straight, and thin pines around you along the way. A more difficult trail to try is Belcher Hill in White Ranch Park, where the ascent is sharp, and stones and roots abound.

Mammoth Lakes, California

You might know Mammoth Lakes for the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, but it’s also a prime destination for those with e-bikes. Mammoth Mountain Bike Park offers over eighty miles of trails for e-bikes during the warmer months of the year and has e-bike rentals available as well. There are many paths that are accommodating to novices, including the Downtown trail, which is a four-mile ride that ends in the downtown village area of Mammoth Lakes. There are charging stations in the downtown village so you can replenish your e-bike once you get there. The Inyo National Forest paths are a strong option should you want to tackle some of the less-manicured US Forest Service roads in the area while getting a nice view of the rocky, refreshing landscape.

<< Reasons to Use an E-Bike for Commuting

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