Forest Service Policy allows e-bikes only on motorized roads and trails

Contact(s): Patrick Lair, (541) 233-7770

Given the growing popularity of electric bikes (E-bikes) in Central Oregon, the Forest Service wants to remind the public about how E-bikes can be used to recreate on national forest lands and where E-bikes are not appropriate.

Under the Forest Service’s national Travel Management Rule (2005) (2008) and (2015) E-bikes are classified as self-propelled motor vehicles. Under this classification, E-bikes are allowed where the Travel Management Rule designation is:

  • Roads Open to All Vehicles
  • Trails Open to All Vehicles
  • Trails Open to Vehicles 50” or Less in Width, and
  • Trails Open to Motorcycles Only.

Therefore, like other motorized transportation, E-bikes can be used on over 8,000 miles of road and 350 miles of trail on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland. Maps for those motorized roads and trails can be found on the Deschutes National Forest website or the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland website.

E-bikes are not allowed on trails designated for non-motorized use. Non-motorized trails include trails like hiker, horse, or mountain bike trails. E-bikes, like other motorized transportation, also are not allowed to travel cross-country off trail. There are no exceptions.

E-bikes are not considered an assistive device meeting the legal definition of a wheelchair or mobility device giving them an exception to the Forest Service’s Travel Management Rule. The Department of Justice, under their Rule on Other Power Driven Mobility Devices in September, 2010 affirmed that the use of any Other Power Driven Mobility Device is limited to where the use of that device (i.e. an E-bike) is designated for use by all.

For more information about E-bikes and the Forest Service’s Travel Management Rule, please contact: Lisa Machnik, Recreation, Partnerships, Lands and Archaeology Staff Officer 541-383-5533 or