In Massachusetts, an e-bike is defined as a “motorized bicycle” as long as its maximum speed is 25mph. As motorized bicycles, e-bikes are not subject to the same rules of the road as regular bicycles.
E-bike riders must carry an operator’s license and are subject to registration requirements. E-bikes are not subject to insurance requirements.
Helmets are required, and there is a 16 year age minimum for e-bike use. E-bikes are not allowed on sidewalks or bike paths.
On federal, state, county and local trails, e-mountain bike (eMTB) access varies significantly.
Generally, any natural surface trail that is designated as open to both motorized and non-motorized uses is also open to eMTBs.
eMTBs may not be allowed on trails managed for non-motorized activities.
Do not ride your eMTB in areas where the local rules are unclear. Ride legally and only on authorized trails to show that mountain bikers are responsible trail users.
When in doubt, ask your local land manager about access to specific trails. Local land rules change frequently.
MASSACHUSETTS’ E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS
LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
STATE: The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation defines e-bikes as motorized recreational vehicles, with access to roadways that allow motorized vehicles on trails designated for motorized recreational vehicles. There are eight state parks with natural surface trails designated for motorized recreational vehicles. Contact the department for the most up to date information.
FEDERAL: There is little federal land managed for recreation in Massachusetts. As of August 29th 2019 all eBikes up to 750 watt can now access Federal Lands and natural parks anywhere a regular bicycle can access. The one exception is National Forests, the forests are managed by the Department of Agriculture and these changes are not implemented yet on the forests. Changes are happening to align all Federal land to the recent Order.