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Expanded bicycle use on Mo. Dept. of Conservation areas starts Feb. 28

Bicycles and electric bicycles will now be allowed on many MDC conservation-area service roads...
Bicycles and electric bicycles will now be allowed on many MDC conservation-area service roads and multi-use trails starting Feb. 28. Shown is Canaan Conservation Area.(Missouri Department of Conservation)
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 12:03 PM CST
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MISSOURI (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation will begin allowing the expanded use of bicycles and electric bicycles on many department-area service roads and multi-use trails starting on February 28.

According to the department, several people can use multi-use trails including horseback riders, bicyclists and hikers.

Service roads are non-public roads on MDC areas used by staff for resource management activities. According to the department, many service roads are currently used as walking paths by the public.

They noted that conditions of service roads on department areas vary and are not maintained at the level of public-use trails and public roads.

The regulation change will affect about 300 MDC areas and provide access to more than 1,500 additional miles of roads for cyclists. About 30 of these areas will be closed to bicycle and electric bicycle use during all portions of the firearms deer hunting season and the spring turkey hunting seasons.

According to the department, bicycle use on most of its approximately 1,100 conservation areas is still restricted to roads open to public-vehicle traffic and some multi-use trails because the areas do not have applicable service roads.

Bicycles are not allowed on service roads, department lands associated with nature and education centers, fish hatcheries, staffed ranges, offices, designated natural areas where bicycle use could cause damage to sensitive habitats and other conservation areas.

Electric bicycles are defined by MDC as “any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device equipped with fully operable pedals, a saddle or seat for the rider and an electric motor of not more than 750 watts, which meets the following three classes:

  • Class-1 electric bicycles are equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour
  • Class-2 electric bicycles are equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour
  • Class-3 electric bicycles are equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour

MDC said cyclists are expected to follow appropriate trail etiquette, including yielding to pedestrians and horseback riders, maintaining a safe speed, staying on designated trails or service roads and avoiding damaging trails by not riding in wet conditions.

For more information on multi-use bicycle trails and allowed service roads, visit MDC’s website. Bike trails can be searched for by using the Advanced Search feature. Service roads can be identified by searching for a conservation area and then checking the online map for the area to see if service roads exist that allow bicycles.

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