Electric-assisted bicycles on WDFW-managed lands

ebike in forested road setting
E-bikes have two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and an electric motor that does not exceed 750 watts of power.

Electric-assisted bicycles (or e-bikes) are becoming increasingly popular in Washington state and across the country.  They are being used as an alternative for vehicle commuting, for recreational riding on roads and trails, and for hunting and fishing.  

E-bikes have two or three wheels, fully operable pedals, and an electric motor that does not exceed 750 watts of power.

E-bikes must meet the qualifications for one of the three classes: 

  • Class 1: A bicycle with a motor that assists only when the rider pedals and stops assisting when the bicycle reaches 20 miles per hour.
  • Class 2: A bicycle with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that stops assisting when the bicycle reaches 20 miles per hour.
  • Class 3: A bicycle  with a motor that assists only when the rider pedals, stops assisting when the bicycle reaches 28 miles per hour, and is equipped with a speedometer.

Current regulations for riding e-bikes on WDFW-managed lands

Riding an electric-assisted bicycle, or e-bike, is currently allowed on roads and trails open to motorized vehicles across Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)-managed lands. Visitors to WDFW-managed lands with a parking placard for persons with disabilities can use Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on all nonmotorized natural surface trails and closed roads where bikes are allowed until June 30, 2023, or until new legislation is enacted.

More information is available in the following infographic from our partners at the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

Infographic showing types and regulations for electric-assist bikes
Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Legislation and report

In spring 2021, the Washington Legislature passed senate bill 5452, which directed WDFW and DNR to lead a public engagement process to help inform where and which type of e-bikes may be allowed on WDFW and DNR-managed lands. 

The two departments reported the findings from this process and made recommendations to the Legislature in fall 2022. Reference the legislative report. Learn more in our blog post

The departments are also developing strategies to enhance awareness of the rules and etiquette for e-bike use on WDFW and DNR-managed lands. 

Prior e-bike legislation includes senate bill 6434 (2018) and house bill 2782 (2018).  

Public participation

In spring 2022, WDFW and DNR launched a public process to help inform the report to the Legislature. More information about the online public survey and virtual meetings is available below. 

Public survey

Thanks to more than 7,000 of you who completed our online public survey, which closed July 15, 2022. We're now reviewing public feedback as we draft the report to the Legislature. 

Virtual public meetings

Thanks to everyone who joined us at two virtual public meetings in May 2022. You can find recordings of these virtual discussions on our YouTube page. 

Outdoor recreation on WDFW-managed lands

WDFW is committed to providing access to outdoor recreation within the bounds of the Department’s role in protecting fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and tribal treaty resources now and into the future. Part of how land managers do this is through robust recreation planning, public engagement, and policy development. Learn more on our recreation planning webpage.  

WDFW manages over 1 million acres of land divided into 33 wildlife areas across the state. Visit our Places to go webpage for more information.