PRATT – In a 5-1 vote, Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) Commissioners approved the use of electric-assisted bicycles, or e-bikes, at Kansas state parks. The decision was made during the Commission’s Sept. 19 public hearing at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in Great Bend.
E-bikes, also referred to as pedal-assist bikes, have a small motor that engages when a rider pedals. Once engaged, the motor provides a “boost” of acceleration, allowing the rider to more easily maneuver hills and rough terrain. Only e-bikes that cease to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a maximum of 20 miles per hour may be used at Kansas state parks. E-bikes will also only be allowed on trails already approved for bicycle use.
“We have over 500 miles of trails at Kansas state parks,” said Linda Lanterman, Kansas state parks director. “E-bikes will allow more users to enjoy these trails, including individuals who have previously been unable to because of age, disability, or physical capacity. We’re really excited about the opportunities this will open up.”
State park staff plan to increase public education efforts promoting safe trail use and trail etiquette, as well as increase signage on trails where bicycles are allowed. For a complete list of trails at Kansas state parks, including biking trails, visit ksoutdoors.com/trails.
The next KWPT Commission meeting will be Nov. 14 at the William Carpenter 4-H Building in Scott City.
For more on the Commission, visit ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Commission.