In light of the rapid growth of the Electric mountain bike (hereafter referred to as E-bike) industry and acceptance across the nation, the Copper Harbor Trails Club (CHTC) recognizes the need for an E-bike policy to govern their use on the trails that we manage. This E-bike policy will continue to grow and adapt as needed to reflect any changes that arise.
CHTC’S E-BIKE POLICY
- Permitted E-Bike Class: Class 1 E-bikes are the only class currently permitted for use on trails that allow E-bikes (see below). Class I E-bikes are pedal assist and have a maximum speed of 20 mph under electric-assist.
- Prohibited E-Bike Classes: Class 2 and Class 3 E-bikes are not permitted on any trail within the Copper Harbor Trails Club’s network. This decision was made with the safety of all trail users and maintenance in mind.
With significant DNR land in the Copper Harbor area, some trails will not be open for E-bikes at this time (see below). Those areas that will allow E-bikes are focused around Brockway Mountain, the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, and the East Bluff Bike Park. The following trails are open to Class 1 E-bikes.
Near Copper Harbor: Orchard Trail, Hunters Point Trail, Copper Harbor Loop, The Flow, Daisy Dukes, Overflow, Raptor Ridge, On The Edge, Woopidy Woo (East and West), Danimal, Flying Squirrel, Garden Brook, Jim Rooks, Bullwinkle, Cabin Life, Blue Trail, Dza Beet, Simeh, Say Hello, Chipmunk Run, Moose on the Loose, Little Loon, Dancing Bear, Red Trail above the Dancing Bear intersection, Black Bear, and Kamikaze.
Near East Bluff: Bluejay Picnic, Citrus Tech, Dueling Banjos, Early Riser, Eh Horizon, Flo’Rion, Loam Rider, Magic Carpet, Summer School, Thunderbolt, Weathertop, and Whipsaw.
CHTC has been working for the past several years with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to allow E-bikes on trails we steward on their lands. Currently about ⅓ of our total trail mileage is on DNR land. However, the process is delayed and a decision has not been made yet. While we await the DNR’s eventual state-wide policy for E-bikes on their land, CHTC decided to move forward with a more piecemeal approach. Our E-bike policy aligns with where we believe the DNR will fall once they finalize their policy to eliminate potential future confusion.
Trails on DNR land where E-bikes are not permitted: Red Trail below the Dancing Bear intersection, Mango, Ma Maki, Paul’s Plunge, Snowshoe Trail, Keweenaw Point Trail between Manganese Road and East Bluff, Keweenaw Point Trail beyond the end of Summer School, and Highlands.
SAFETY & ETIQUETTE
All riders are asked to abide by our posted Safety & Etiquette guidelines when visiting the Copper Harbor Trails. This is especially important for E-bike riders who may come under additional scrutiny due to their new technology and misperceptions by the public. Most riders are already following these guidelines. However, they are worth repeating here. All it takes is for one ‘bad apple’ and E-bike access may be rescinded or trails closed. It has happened before and we are relying on you to prevent it from happening again. Thank you for your cooperation!
- Mountain bikes yield to hikers.
- Ride in control and within your abilities.
- Uphill traffic has the right-of-way.
- Respect wildlife and the environment.
- Control your dog.
- No horses or motorized vehicles.
- Heed trail closures and other signage.
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Obey the rules of the road.
- Be courteous.
Last update: December 11, 2023