As cyclists dust off their bikes this spring, e-bikes may be joining the fray on local trails. In a press release on April 26, the province announced it will allow riding an electric bicycle on trails established by Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
In Squamish, Recreation Sites and Trails BC cares for 25 trails, including trails around Alice Lake, the Squamish Valley and the Garibaldi Highland area.
The new policy said the impact of e-bikes as they grow in popularity could include more trail use and require more trail maintenance, as more people can cover more distance in a shorter period of time.
“[T]here may be higher numbers of users on backcountry trails accessing environmentally sensitive alpine areas and creating more wear on tread surfaces. Facilitating easier access into more remote areas may increase emergency / Search and Rescue calls for users who do not have the skills, knowledge or fitness necessary for the activity,” the policy states.
The policy aims to minimize such impacts on other users and the environment by encouraging existing mixed-use trails, rather than developing new trails. E-bikes will also not be allowed in areas closed to motor vehicles or regular bikes, but will be allowed on Active Transportation Trails.
The new policy does not apply to BC Parks trails, private land or municipal land, which may have their own e-bike bylaws.