The US National Park Service (NPS) has recently confirmed that effective from December 2, 2020; you will be able to ride your e-bike in NPS managed national parks in the US.
E-bikes give you a fun way to explore nature and with a foldable e-bike, you can easily carry it with you for a day trip or camping holiday. To celebrate this news, we put together this article that details the top 5 US national parks to ride your e-bike and reconnect with nature.
Acadia National Park, Maine
The Arcadia National Park is the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the US. It is one of the top 10 visited national parks in the US and boasts 158 miles of high trails.
The diverse habitats, including luscious forests, rugged coastline, lakes and mountains, make this a beautiful park to reconnect with nature. The wildlife that you can expect to see in this 49,000-acre national park includes (but is not limited to) moose, bears, whales and seabirds.
Thanks to the multitude of hiking trails and historic roads, it is also a perfect place to explore by e-bike. Although camping may be off-limits currently, one day, the campsites will open again. With an e-bike in your boot, you can travel further and see more of the scenic beauty than if you spent your holiday just hiking.
Head for Bar Harbour and take the 27-mile scenic park loop road that includes a steep ascent to the top of Cadillac Mountain. From the 1,530ft summit, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of Acadia park and the nearby mountains.
Olympic National Park, Washington
At nearly one million acres, the Olympic National Park in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington gives you plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature and enjoy several different ecosystems. It has glacier-capped mountains, historic forests and a coastline. The scenery is diverse and breathtaking. As you would expect, there is an impressive array of wildlife to see and admire.
Cycling through the Olympic Park on an e-bike gives you a more immersive experience than just jumping in a car and driving around. For one of the most scenic and breathtaking climbs in the US, you should head over to Hurrican Ridge. The trail offers beautiful scenery (although heavily forested for most of the climb), great roads and a fun descent once you get to the top. E-bikes let you get to destinations you have not previously been able to reach by bicycle, especially when there is a difficult climb involved.
You should also check out the Quinault Rain Forest and take time to enjoy the beautiful waterfalls and wildlife that help make this forest trail extra special.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
As the name might suggest, the Rocky Mountain National Park is home to some of the highest mountain in the US. It covers over 250,000 acres and is a beautiful alpine vista.
With the help of an e-bike, you should try to tackle the Trail Ridge Road to discover these mountains’ true beauty like never before. Although the gradient does not kick up any more than 7%, this is a slow and challenging ride that crests at 12,000 ft. Don’t forget to pack for the cold and stop off at the Alpine Visitor center for a well-deserved coffee and snack once you reach the peak.
Although the Trail Ridge Road covers the whole 43 miles from the northeast entrance to the west, you do not have to conquer the entire road in one go to appreciate why the Rocky Mountains is one of the United States’ top National parks to ride your e-bike.
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
The 181,000 acre Crater National Park in Southern Oregon encompasses Crater Lake. The lake was formed by the crater left when the volcano Mount Mazama was destroyed following its eruption some 7,700 years ago. The lake is 1,949 deep at the deepest point, but that is not why it made this list of top US National Parks to ride your e-bike.
The views are truly breathtaking on the 33-mile road around the deep blue lakes perimeter road. This is another summer adventure as the road is completely closed off during the winter months. It is also worth checking out when the next car-free day is going to be. A few times a year, the perimeter road is completely closed off to cars, allowing hikers and cyclists a rare opportunity to taking in the views without continually having to worry about passing traffic.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah
To make a change from all the forests and glacial mountain ridges. The Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah is renowned for its dramatic desert landscape. This 337,000-acre national park is a favorite among campers and bike packers.
The White Rim Trail is a 103-mile loop on gravel and sandy roads that gives you some stunning views of the sandstone cliffs. This is a favorite among novice mountain bikers as although the road surface may be uneven; the trail is not too technical. The assistance provided by an e-bike will help you to get up some of the more tough climbs. Due to the terrain and climate, it is recommended to split up this route over a few days and spend your travels camping in one of the many campsites along the route.
The news that the NPS has recently passed regulations that allow for e-bikes to be ridden in US National Parks legally is exciting. Cycling is a great way to get out and enjoy nature. In the US, there are over 400 national parks. This shortlist does not include all the beautiful trails, paths and roads you can enjoy by e-bike. Even if you do not live locally, you can still explore these national treasures if you invest in a foldable e-bike that can fit comfortably in your trunk along with the camping gear.
It is impossible to document all the beautiful national parks to ride your e-bike in just one article, but we hope this gives you some inspiration to get out and enjoy nature like never before.
Tell us what you think. What is your favorite US National Park to ride an e-bike?