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Carroll County Commissioners Approve Class 1 E-Bike Use on Park Trails

Carroll County Commissioners voted 3-2 to allow Class 1 e-bikes on some county park trails. These e-bikes have an electric motor that activates while the rider pedals and stops when the bike reaches 20 mph. The approved trails include Gillis Falls Recreational Area, the undeveloped side of Piney Run Park, and Westminster’s Union Mills Reservoir Trails, Hashawha, and Speigel Hill.

Commissioners Rothstein, Kiler, and Vigliotti voted in favor, while Commissioners Gordon and Guerin opposed, expressing concerns from the equestrian community about spooking horses. Despite current restrictions, e-bike use has been increasing on park trails without supervision.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board held a meeting in February to gather public input on e-bike usage. The issue was further discussed, and a public hearing took place on June 29.

The county will put up signage and create a trail etiquette pamphlet to promote respectful behavior between e-bike riders, hikers, and horseback riders. Only Class 1 e-bikes, which require pedaling and have a motor cutoff at 20 mph, will be allowed, excluding Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes from the trails.

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