E-Bikes in CA State Parks

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With the increasing usage of electric bicycles (e-bikes) as a form of recreation and commuting, State Parks seeks to address their growing presence within the California State Park System. Through State Parks' enacted policy, effective August 27, 2021, the department seeks to accommodate e-bike users and increase the opportunities to use this form of recreation, while also taking into consideration safety concerns and the preservation of our natural resources.

 

State Parks units not listed below do not allow electric bicycle (e-bike) use except on roads open to public, street-legal vehicle use.


Unit Name

Locations Where Class 1 E-bikes Are Allowed

Locations Where Class 2 E-bikes Are Allowed

Locations Where Class 3 E-bikes Are Allowed

Auburn SRA Bridgeview Trail, Clementine Trail, Confluence Trail, Culvert Trail, Flood Road Trail, Foresthill Divide Loop Trail, Fuel Break Trail, Lake Clementine Access Trail, Long Point Fuel Break Trail, Manzanita Trail, McKeon-Ponderosa Trail, Mossy Rock Trail, Stagecoach Trail  Olmstead Loop Trail, PG&E Road, Quarry Trail, Robie Point Fuel Break Trail, PCWA Road, Pleasant Avenue Road, Salt Creek Road, Knickerbocker Haul Road, Ponderosa Road, Upper Lake Clementine Road      
Austin Creek SRA East Austin Creek fire road, McCray Ridge fire road, Riggs fire road, Fox Mountain fire road    
Benicia SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Bethany Reservoir SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Bolsa Chica SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Brannan Island SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Carnegie SVRA  Anywhere north of the Corral Hollow Creek in the "Valley Floor."      
Carpinteria SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Clay Pit SVRA Open riding area Open riding area Open riding area
Crystal Cove SP All roads and trails from the Moro Canyon Area (Moro Campground and Upper and Lower Moro Day Use areas) coastward are open to class-1 e-bikes.  All other trails on the inland side of the Highway 1 are closed to e-bikes.    
Delta Meadows All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Doheny SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
El Capitán SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Emma Wood SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Folsom Lake SRA South Lake Natoma Multi-use Trail (dirt), South Lake Natoma Bike Path (paved), Parkshore Bike Path Connector Trail (paved), American River Bike Path-Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (paved), Main Avenue Bike Path Connector Trail (paved), Mississippi Bar Service Road (dirt), Service Road-Beals Point to Granite Bay Across Dikes 4-6 (dirt), Dike 4-6 Multiuse Trail (dirt), Granite Bay Multi-use Trail-South (dirt), Granite Bay Multi-use Trail-North (dirt), Center Trail (dirt), Doton's Point Multi-use Trail (dirt), Darrington Trail (dirt), South Fork America River Trail (dirt), Sweetwater Trail (dirt), Mormon Island Cove to Brown's Ravine (dirt) Dike 8 to Mormon Island Cove-Across MIAD (dirt), Leidsdorff Trail (paved)  For consistency with Sacramento Regional Parks and City of Folsom Parks Department: South Lake Natoma Bike Path (paved), Parkshore Bike Path Connector Trail (paved), American River Bike Path-Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail (paved), Main Avenue Bike Path Connector Trail (paved), Leidsdorff Trail (paved)  
Fort Ord Dunes SP Beach Range Road     
Gaviota SP All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
George J. Hatfield SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Great Valley Grasslands SP North Levy Road, South Levy Road, Fremont Ford River Trail    
Half Moon Bay SB Coastal Trail    
Heber Dunes SVRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles. All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles. All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.
Henry W. Coe SP All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Hollister Hills SVRA All areas of Lower Ranch, Upper Ranch, Renz Ranch, Hudner Ranch, Mudstone Ranch, and the Nature Area. All areas of Lower Ranch and Renz Ranch. All areas of Lower Ranch and Renz Ranch.
Huntington SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
La Purísima Mission SHP All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Lake Oroville SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Lake Perris SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
MacKerricher SP MacKerricher Haul Road    
Marsh Creek State Park (SHP) Once the park is open to the public, allowed where all trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
McGrath SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Millerton Lake SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Mount Diablo SP All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Oceano Dunes SVRA All areas open to vehicles and off-highway vehicles. All areas open to vehicles and off-highway vehicles. All areas open to vehicles and off-highway vehicles.
Ocotillo Wells SVRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles. All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles. All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.
Pacheco SP Spikes Peak, Pig Pond, Whiskey Flat, Cut Off, Tunnel Monument, Up and Over, Canyon Loop East and West, Shadow Spring Ridge, Nun Lake, South Boundary Loop, Mountain View, Diamond Lake Diamond Spring, Dinosaur Lake    
Pismo SB All areas of beach open to vehicles. All areas of beach open to vehicles. All areas of beach open to vehicles.
Providence Mountains SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Refugio SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
San Buenaventura SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
San Clemente SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
San Luis Reservoir SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
San Onofre SB All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Silverwood Lake SRA All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
The Forest of Nisene Marks SP All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    
Tule Elk SNR Paved routes within the day-use area.    
Wilder Ranch SP All trail routes currently open to traditional bicycles.    

According to California Vehicle Code (CVC) 312.5, an “electric bicycle” is a bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. CVC Section 312.5(a) defines e-bikes into three classes depending on the bicycle’s level of assistance and speed:

  1. (1)   A “class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle 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 miles per hour.
  2. (2)   A “class 2 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
  3. (3)   A “class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a speedometer and 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 miles per hour.

The following is State Parks’ e-bike policy:

  • No person shall operate an e-bike in a park unit of the State Parks System, except on public roadways [i] and in areas allowed through a Superintendent’s Order.

  • E-bike use on trails and nonpublic, controlled-access [ii] roads shall be allowed only where designated by Superintendent’s Order in the following park unit classifications:
    • State recreation area
    • State vehicular recreation area

  • Regardless of park unit classification, e-bikes may be allowed on paved (asphalt or concrete) bike trails used for local or regional commuting where such designation (e.g., classification of e-bikes allowed) is consistent with e-bike designations of adjoining trails operated by other agencies.

  • Regardless of unit classification, upon issuance of a Superintendent’s Order, class 1 e-bike may be allowed for research or demonstration purposes necessary to improve knowledge and understanding of potential issues related to e-bike use. E-bike designations for these purposes may only occur on trails and non-public access (controlled access) roads already designated for traditional (non-electric) bicycles, or new routes constructed for test purposes.

  • Requests for use of e-bikes to provide access for people with disabilities shall follow Departmental Notice 2015-04, Other Power Driven Mobility Devices.

  • E-bike use in park units:
    • State recreation areas:
      • Except for public roadways, only class 1 e-bikes shall be allowed by Superintendent’s Order on controlled-access roads and trails.
      • Except for public roadways, class 2 or 3 e-bikes are not allowed.
      • Class 1 e-bikes may be designated for use only on trails and controlled-access roads that already allow traditional (non-electric) bicycles.
    • State vehicular recreation areas:
      • Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes may be allowed by Superintendent’s Order for use on trails and controlled-access roads.
    • All other park unit classifications:
      • Class 1 e-bikes may be temporarily allowed by Superintendent’s Order for use on trails and nonpublic, controlled-access roads for research and demonstration purposes.
      • Except for public roadways, class 2 or 3 e-bikes are not allowed.

If you have further questions regarding e-bike use in the California State Park System, please email trails@parks.ca.gov.

[i] Public roadways are those roads open to public street legal vehicles use.
[ii] Nonpublic, controlled-access roads are roads not open to vehicle use by the public but are occasionally driven by authorized vehicles for administrative or emergency purposes, and are typically open for public trail use. Typically referred to as fire roads, these roads are often gated to prevent vehicle access by the public.

No. E-bike use in any unit of the California State Park System is allowed only through a Superintendent’s Order specific to an individual park unit.
  • Class 1 e-bikes may be allowed through a Superintendent’s Order in state recreation areas.
  • Class 1 e-bikes may be temporarily allowed through a Superintendent’s Order in any type of park unit when its use is approved for research and demonstration purposes.
  • Classes 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes may be allowed through a Superintendent’s Order in state vehicular recreation areas.
  • Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes are allowed on public roadways[i] in all unit classifications.
Class 1 e-bike use on trails and nonpublic, controlled-access roads[ii] at units classified as “state parks” may be temporarily allowed by a Superintendent’s Order for research or demonstration purposes necessary to improve knowledge and understanding of potential issues related to e-bike use. Continued use allowance will be based on research findings. Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are not allowed. 
Class 1 e-bikes may be allowed by Superintendent’s Order in state recreation areas on trails and nonpublic, controlled-access roads. Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are not allowed. 
Class 1, 2 and 3 e-bikes may be allowed by Superintendent’s Order on trails and controlled-access roads in state vehicular recreation areas. The Superintendent’s Order will specify which classifications of e-bikes are allowed.