The U.S. National Park Service published a new rule this morning authorizing park superintendents to open existing trails to bicycle use within park units under specific conditions, in accordance with appropriate plans and in compliance with applicable law. It also retains the current requirement for a special regulation to authorize construction of new trails for bicycle use outside developed areas.
Bikes are generally prohibited from dirt trails in most National Parks. Currently, National Park superintendents are restricted from opening dirt trails to mountain bikes without adopting “special regulations” that must be published in the Federal Register. The new rule, which goes into effect on August 6, gives park managers more leeway and a little less red tape to open existing facilities like fire roads and service roads to bicycle traffic.