NPS - National Park Service

09/28/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2019 09:52

National Park Service allows Class 1 electric bicycles in same locations as traditional bicycles in Acadia National Park

News Release Date:
September 28, 2019

Contact:Christie Anastasia, 207 288-8806

BAR HARBOR, MAINE - Beginning on September 28, 2019, the National Park Service (NPS) will allow Class 1 electric bicycles (e-bikes) where traditional bicycles are allowed in Acadia National Park consistent with NPS Policy Memorandum 19-01 on Electric Bicycles. The policy defines Class 1 e-bikes as electric bicycles equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph. Electric bicycles provide expanded options for visitors who wish to ride a bicycle but may be limited because of physical fitness, age, or otherwise. All three classes of e-bikes continue to be allowed where motor vehicles are allowed in Acadia National Park.

Class 2 e-bikes are electric bicycles equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph. Class 2 e-bikes continue to be prohibited on the carriage roads and Schoodic bike paths because they can be powered by a throttle that does not require the rider to pedal.
Class 3 e-bikes are electric bicycles equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 mph. Class 3 e-bikes continue to be prohibited on the carriage roads and Schoodic bike paths because of heightened safety risks in the context of a gravel surface shared by high concentrations of slower-moving pedestrians and equestrians, including horse-drawn carriages, traditional bicyclists, and runners and because of the potential for exceeding the speed limit.
In addition to responding to the Policy Memorandum, the NPS has reduced the speed limit on the carriage roads and Schoodic bike paths from 25 mph to 20 mph to ensure the safety of all users. E-bike users also need to be aware that Island Explorer buses and Bike Express trailers are not transporting e-bikes at this time due to load limitations.
The NPS will monitor the use of e-bikes on the carriage roads and Schoodic bike paths to document and assess potential impacts on the visitor experience (including safety concerns and user conflicts), resources, and facilities. The NPS reserves the right to limit, restrict, or impose other conditions on e-bike use in the future after taking into consideration public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and other management activities and objectives.
The NPS reminds bicyclists on the carriage roads and Schoodic bike paths to adhere to the following rules and safety advisories:

  • Bicyclists yield to all users.
  • Slow down. Speeding can be hazardous.
  • Be prepared to stop. Sudden stops are dangerous on loose gravel.
  • Stay to the right. Give a clear warning before passing on the left.
  • Move to the side when stopped.
  • Maine state law requires that helmets be worn by all bicyclists under age 16.

Read more about Electric Bicycles (e-bikes) in National Parks, National Park Service's new electric bicycle (e-bike) policy, and Bicycling in Acadia National Park.