E-bikes are defined as "motor-assisted bicycles." Motor-assisted bicycles are subject to the same laws as human-powered bicycles under Vermont law.
Riders of motor-assisted bicycles are not subject to registration and operator's license requirements. Because riders of motor-assisted bicycles do not need to register their bicycles or obtain an operator's license, they are also exempt from insurance requirements.
Motor-assisted bicycles are defined as bicycles or tricycles with fully operable pedals and a motor with a power output of 1,000 watts or less and maximum speed of 20 mph.
Motor-assisted bicycles may not be ridden on sidewalks.
State law does not specifically address the use of motor-assisted bicycles on bicycle paths. Riders should verify that such use is permitted by their local jurisdiction.
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.
VERMONT’S E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS
LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
STATE: Vermont State Parks does not currently have an eMTB policy. Contact the department for the most up to date information.
FEDERAL: The majority of public lands managed for recreation in Vermont are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, where 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. Contact the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Regional Office for more information.
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