The National Parks Service recently announced changes designed to expand opportunities for mountain biking in parks nationwide. “Bikes are a great way to exercise, get healthy, and experience the great outdoors,” said NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This new rule gives park superintendents greater flexibility to determine where bikes can be allowed in a park and additional authority to shut areas where cycling is jeopardizing visitors or park resources.”
IMBA and the NPS have held a formal partnership agreement since 2005. The new rule (available online) is another step forward in that relationship, providing park staff with a more streamlined administrative process and localized decision making about where the best opportunities for mountain biking exist.
There are already more than 40 NPS properties that allow mountain biking on dirt roads and trails. Research from the Outdoor Industry Association shows that bicycling is one of the most popular forms of recreation — especially among young people. “At a time when park visitation is declining, and America’s youth is becoming more sedentary, it’s good to see the NPS taking this positive step,” said Van Abel. “There are already successful examples from national parks that offer mountain biking; my organization looks forward to helping create many more of them.”
Read more here: http://www.imba.com/news/nps-announces-new-rule
I'm super excited to hear about this! For a long time I have longed to ride my bike on some of the epic trails in Glacier National Park, Smoky Mountain National Park, and others. There are thousands of miles of single track trails in our national parks! Obviously, not all of the trails will be good for mountain biking, and some may be way to congested with other users to allow the possibility of riding... but the thought of even a fraction of those trails which are currently off-limit to bikes being opened to two-wheeled traffic is exciting to say the least!