E-bike proposal would expand use on some Chapman trails
A policy to expand the use of e-bikes in state parks would have little impact at Warren County’s sole state park.
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.”
“Class 1 e-bikes have been used at the park for some time and have not caused any issues,” Robert Sweeney, Chapman State Park manager, explained. “They are currently permitted for use on our roads, paved and unpaved, at Chapman.”
He explained that the change, if the policy were approved, would be to “allow their use on state park trails open to biking.”
There are a few trails at Chapman that are currently open to bikes including the Lowland Trail, Snowmobile Trail, Lumber Trail, Warming Hut Trail and the railroad trade by the dam.
The draft policy would provide guidelines that e-bike users would have to abide by: that the bike way no more than 100 pounds, not exceed 20 miles-per-hour while using the motor, have motors that do not exceed 750 ways and have fully functioning traditional pedals.
“E-bikes are increasingly popular as technology improves and the price drops,” Dunn explained. “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.”
DCNR cautions riders to check the guidelines for regulations on federal lands and local parks that wouldn’t be subject to this policy.
A statement notes that e-bikes would be prohibited in natural areas, “designated hiking trails” as well as trails specifically marked closed to biking.
The policy will go before the Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council later this month for public comment. Written comments can also be submitted via email.