January 29, 2020
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Acadia National Park to allow e-bikes on carriage trails

David Sharp | AP
David Sharp | AP
In this June 8, 2019 photo, Janice Goodwin rides her electric-assist bicycle on a paved road in Acadia National Park at Bar Harbor, Maine. E-bikes such as hers are allowed on paved roads but are banned on carriage paths and bicycle paths in the park.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Acadia National Park visitors are going to be allowed to ride motorized electric bikes on carriage paths beginning this weekend.

Park officials announced Thursday that Acadia will abide by an Interior Department directive to treat e-bikes like regular bicycles. But the park is limiting trail access to only pedal-assisted e-bikes with a top speed of 20 mph.

[Following Trump administration order, Acadia is deciding where to allow e-bikes]

Supporters say e-bikes are great for older riders who might not otherwise be able to ride.

But critics say they’re too fast and could startle horses. They also say the Rockefellers who donated the carriage roads didn’t want motorized vehicles on them.

The new rules apply to 45 miles (72 kilometers) of carriage paths managed by the park but not 12 miles (20 kilometers) of paths on private land.

critics contend that the Rockefeller family intended to ban motorized vehicles.


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