HELENA – Electric Bikes have grown in popularity. You can now take an e-bike anywhere not just downtown but even into some national parks.
Currently e-bikes are welcome where motorized vehicle travel is authorized. That includes more than 52,000 miles of roads and 7,700 miles of trails throughout the Northern Region's nine National Forests and Dakota Prairie Grasslands where motorized vehicle travel is authorized..
The USDA Forest Service considers e-bikes as motorized vehicles and therefore prohibits their use on non-motorized National Forest System roads and trails, including off of open system roads and trails.
“On the Helena-Lewis and Clark there is about 2,500 miles of motorized roads and about 800 miles of motorized trails,” says Jennifer Becar the Acting Public Affairs Officer for Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest. “There is plenty of opportunities for the public to go out if that's how they like to recreate there's lots of opportunities on the Helena-Lewis and Clark for that."
E-bike users will have to follow the same motorized use seasonal restrictions as other motorized travelers on the forest.
Specific to the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest in west-central Montana, about 2,500 miles of system road and 813 miles of system trail are available for e-bike use.
"We are seeing more of it. It's definitely becoming a more popular use,” says Becar. “And because of that we wanted to make sure the public new this was a way that they could enjoy their national forests."
The forest service encourages e-bike riders to consult their local National Forest or Grassland’s Motor Vehicle Use Map to ensure they’re riding on approved, motorized use road or trail, and to exercise caution when traveling among other motor vehicles.
The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest motor vehicle use maps are available at area Forest offices as well on the forest website and you access that by clicking here.