DCNR Draft E-Bike Policy

Source: Conservation & Natural Resources Advisory Council (CNRAC) | Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

DCNR Seeking Public Comment on Draft E-Bike Policy

Comments Due by August 31, 2022

At CNRAC’s July 27 meeting, DCNR released a draft internal policy on the use of electric bicycles (e-bikes) on DCNR lands for public comment.  An e-bike is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider when they are pedaling.

“The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance for the use of e-bikes on state parks and forests,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “On the lands it manages, DCNR will allow e-bikes on trails already open to traditional bicycle usage as long as users follow some guidelines.”  Dunn noted the guidelines, consistent with the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, are 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; and
  • Have fully functional, operable pedals.

“E-bikes are increasingly popular as technology improves and the price drops,” Dunn said. “Because they make outdoor recreation accessible to more people, we are updating our policy to provide those opportunities on our lands, while at the same time working to limit their impacts on other visitors and on our natural places.”

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.

The policy (PDF) when adopted will allow e-bikes to be used on DCNR-managed trails where traditional bikes are allowed. 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); and
  • Trails or roads specifically marked closed to biking.

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

If you missed the meeting, you can watch the recording by clicking here.

Written comments on the draft e-bike policy are welcome, and can be submitted to RA-NR_PolicyOffice@pa.gov.
The deadline to submit comments is August 31.

Frequently Asked Questions document (PDF) has more information about the draft e-bike policy.