E-Bike use on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

The Forest Service recognizes that technology continues to rapidly change, including the design and capability of electric bikes (e-bikes) and other related modes of travel. The Forest Service Travel Management Rule defines motor vehicles as any vehicle that is self-propelled, with the exception of a vehicle that travels on rails or fits the vehicle criteria for “mobility use” for mobility impaired individuals. The Forest Service considers technologies that merge bicycles and motors (gas, batteries or electric powered) as motor vehicles. E-bikes, therefore, are considered motorized vehicles and are not allowed on non-motorized trails. They can be used on Forest System lands only where motor vehicles are allowed.

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offer over 1,655 miles of roads and over 68 miles of trails open to motorized recreation. 

In addition to open Forest System roads, e-bikes are allowed on the Potts Mountain Jeep Trail (Forest Road 177.1) on the Eastern Divide Ranger District in Craig County, and on three motorized trail systems on the George Washington and Jefferson Jefferson National Forests: the South Pedlar ATV Trail System on the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District in Amherst County, VA; the Rocky Run ATV Trail on the North River Ranger District in Rockingham County, VA; and the Peters Mill Run/Taskers Gap OHV System on the Lee Ranger District in Shenandoah County, VA. Permit fees may apply. 

Here are a few guidelines for riding e-bikes on the Forest:

  • E-bikes are prohibited on non-motorized trails, including trails open to bicycles. 
  • Vehicles, including e-bikes, are not allowed to travel beyond gates or barriers.
  • E-bike travel in designated Wilderness, Recommended Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas is not allowed.
  • Temporary and emergency closure orders may be implemented when road and trail conditions are considered unsafe (e.g., soft wet roads, washouts, fire).

For more information, contact your local district office





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/recreation/?cid=fseprd683415