Biking in BC Parks

Mountain Biking in BC


British Columbia’s provincial parks are home to a diverse range of cycling opportunities from the wet coasts, to the dry interior, to the brisk, high alpine environments. Cyclists of all skill levels can enjoy trails that gently meander through grasslands, twist and flow through lush rainforests, or quickly drop on rocky slopes. In select campgrounds, there are beginner’s pump tracks for youth to develop and hone their skills. Check the webpage of the park you are planning to visit to find out more details on opportunities in your area.

Responsible cycling etiquette

  • Ride on designated trails only. Mountain biking is allowed only on trails designated for cycling.
  • Respect trail closures. Trails may be temporarily or permanently closed for ecological or public safety reasons. Watch for signs at trail head or on website for updates.
  • Stay alert on trails and watch for wildlife – especially bears. Cyclists are prone to sudden and dangerous bear encounters because of the speed and silence of their travel. Slow down, stay alert and scan ahead. Yell and let bears know you are coming, especially when biking near streams, through dense vegetation, on windy days, or when approaching corners.
  • Yield appropriately. Let your fellow trail users know you’re coming. Make each pass a safe and courteous one. Cyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill. Pass horses with extra care and follow directions from the horse riders (ask if uncertain).
  • Leave no trace. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to impacts from cyclists than dry ones. This is why it is especially important to stay on existing trails and not create new ones. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in. Leave natural and cultural objects undisturbed for others to discover and enjoy.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is only permitted on mountain biking-specific or multi-use trails that have been identified by BC Parks. These trails will display signs at trailheads and on park maps. Please refer to the park webpage for mountain bike opportunities at a park near you!

Electric bicycles (e-bikes)

BC Parks follows current e-bike industry standards for the 3-class system. The variability of these e-bikes requires BC Parks to differentiate between classes to minimize possible impacts on wildlife, environmental, recreational and cultural values of the parks.

  • Class 1 e-bike use is allowed where cycling and mountain biking is already permitted, unless signage indicates that trail is closed to all e-bike access. Some areas have high environmental and wildlife values, and the increased e-bike speed and usage may increase wildlife conflict.
  • Class 2 and Class 3 e-bike use is only allowed where motorized use is currently permitted, such as park roadways and off road vehicle areas. In some parks, class 2 e-bikes are also allowed on active transportation designated trails, which are commuter pathways linking communities together like some sections of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Refer to the specific park webpage for information about permitted e-bike usage.
  • Adaptive mountain bikes (aMTBs) are allowed in areas designated for Class 1 e-bike use, provided they meet the requirements below.
  • Some parks may further restrict e-bike use due to conservation concerns. Refer to the specific park webpage for information about permitted e-bike usage.

Class Max Continuous Motor Wattage Max Speed Before Motor Cut-off Motor Actuator Method
Class 1 500 W 32 km/h Pedal-assist only (no throttle)
Class 2 500W 32 km/h Pedal assist and/or throttle actuated
Class 3 500W 45 km/h Pedal assist and/or throttle actuated

Class 1 e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles under the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area (PCRA) regulations and have the following capabilities:

  • Motor only provides assistance if rider is pedaling (pedal assist)
  • Has a motor with a continuous maximum output of 500 watts
  • May have a deactivated throttle actuator so that the motor is only controlled by pedal assist

Class 2 e-bikes are considered as motor vehicles under the PCRA regulations and have the following capabilities:

  • Motor is capable of providing assistance in part or exclusively by throttle (throttle actuated)
  • Has a motor with a continuous maximum output of 500 watts
  • Motor must stop providing assistance once speeds reach or exceed 32km/hr

Class 3 e-bikes are considered as motor vehicles under the PCRA regulations and have the following capabilities:

  • Motor is capable of providing assistance in part or exclusively by throttle (throttle actuated)
  • Has a motor with a continuous maximum output of 500 watts
  • Motor must stop providing assistance once speeds reach or exceed 45km/hr

Adaptive mountain bikes (aMTB) are are not considered motor vehicles and must have:

  • Three or four wheels
  • Hand or foot cranks able to propel the aMTB without electric power
  • A motor with a maximum output of 800 watts
  • Either pedal assist or throttle actuated motor control

For a detailed description of e-bike requirements, please visit the ICBC website

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does BC Parks have an e-bikes policy?

Electric bikes are a popular form of recreation on designated trails and roads throughout the province. However, cycling can have an impact on trails, sensitive wildlife and ecosystems.

The BC Parks E-bike Policy provides direction on use and enforcement of e-bikes to protect the conservation values of our parks system, and is similar to the e-bike policy of Recreation Sites and Trails BC.

Where can I ride my e-bike in BC Parks?

E-bikes are allowed in certain areas, depending on the classification. People with Class 1 e-bikes can ride on any BC Parks trail where mountain bikes or other cycling is already allowed. People with Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can only ride on trails and/or roads designated for motorized vehicles and may be allowed on trails designated for active transportation, such as rail trails, depending on the park. People using adaptive mountain bikes are allowed in areas designated for Class 1 e-bike use.

BC Parks will have signs posted on trails where cycling and Class 1 e-bikes are allowed, however, anyone with an e-bike is encouraged to visit the park website for specific information on where they can ride before they hit the trail.

When did the e-bike policy begin and how is it enforced?

The policy is in effect as of August 2019 and includes an education period for the remainder of the 2019/2020 season to introduce and explain this new policy.

In the long term, BC Parks' primary goal is to educate the public on the new policy to generate voluntary compliance. However, where voluntary compliance is not forth-coming, written warnings, evictions and/or violation tickets up to $575 may be issued.