E-Bikes New York: Where Can I Ride?

E-Bikes New York: Where Can I Ride?

New York is an incredible destination for e-bike riders. There are trails that run all over the state — it’s so much more than NYC. 

Here’s what you need to know about e-bikes in New York.

What Are The Best E-Bike Trails And Parks In New York?

Are E-Bikes Legal In New York?

Are There E-Bike Incentive Programs In New York?

Where Can I Find Magnum Bikes In New York?

E-Bikes New York FAQs

What Are The Best E-Bike Trails And Parks In New York?

New York offers a huge variety of urban and rural rides. From greenways in the city to lakefront and forest rides, you’ll find it. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Empire State Trail

A waterfront portion of the Empire State Trail. Image Source: Flickr

Why We Love It

Passing through 20 unique counties, the 750-mile Empire State Trail is the longest multi-use trail in the United States. 

You can use sections of the trail to ride from NYC all the way up to Buffalo and Niagara Falls!

It’s an incredible opportunity to break out of the city and see the full beauty of New York State. 

What’s more, about 3/4 of the trail is for hikers and bicyclists only — no traffic jams here.

When To Visit

Trail use is subject to New York weather. Use caution, especially when traveling in the winter and/or over long distances. 

Check the forecast and road conditions before you head out!

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are welcome just about everywhere on the trail. 

Exceptions include:

  • Bicycle trails in Manhattan and the Bronx
  • Dutchess County (Maybrook Trailway and Dutchess Rail-Trail)
  • Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (Class 1 allowed, Class 2 prohibited) 

Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited on the full length of the Empire State Trail. 

This includes the portions that run through NYC, even though Class 3 e-bikes are typically permitted in NYC. 

New York City is actually the only place where Class 3 e-bikes are legal in New York — just not on the Empire State Trail.

Erie Canalway Trail

The Erie Canal as seen from Erie Canal Park in Camillus, NY along the Erie Canalway e-bike path, featuring a dock with seating, bright blue skies and bare trees on a clear winter day

Near the midway point of the Erie Canalway e-bike path, stop at Erie Canal Park in Camillus for this gorgeous view. Image Source: Unsplash

Why We Love It

If you’ve conquered the Empire State Trail from NYC to Buffalo, or if you happen to live in the Buffalo area already, the Erie Canalway Trail is an excellent way to see upstate New York. 

Running between Buffalo in the West and Albany in the East, the trail offers up to 360 miles of beautiful New York scenery to explore.

Hop on and off the path at many amazing stops along the way, including Lockport, Newark, Syracuse, Rome, and much more. 

With so many great towns to visit, it would be easy to design a themed trip for your favorite activities, such as visiting lots of museums, can’t-miss breweries and restaurants, or historic buildings.

When To Visit

The Erie Canalway Trail is open all year long! 

That said, Upstate New York is known for its winter snowfall, so keep an eye on the forecast while planning your ride.

And if you’re hoping to watch the boats, take a cruise, rent a boat, or kayak through the canal, take note: the canal is open to water activities from May to November.

Love group activities? In the summer, there’s usually a multi-day group ride along the full length of the Erie Canalway. Participants are welcome to use Class 1 e-bikes, but Class 2 and Class 3 are not allowed at this event. 

Find more information here.

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on all sections of the trail, while most sections permit both Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes.

However, Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from the entire Erie Canalway Trail. 

In fact, NYC is the only place in New York State where Class 3 e-bikes are allowed. We’ll share more about that later in this post.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Lake Minnewaska and the surrounding landscape show the beginnings of fall colors in the trees on a sunny day with bright blue sky and low white clouds

Lake Minnewaska is just one attraction in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Explore up to 35 miles of carriage roads by e-bike. Image Source: Unsplash

Why We Love It

Located just about 90 minutes from NYC by car, Minnewaska State Park Preserve is an incredible choice for a day trip out of the city. 

Many state parks come with heavy e-bike restrictions. While Minnewaska State Park Preserve does have guidelines and limitations on its trails, the options for e-bike riders are vast — and beautiful! 

This recreational area features 35 miles of carriage roads: 

Class 1 e-bikes are permitted on any carriage roads that allow regular nonmotorized bicycles, too. 

You just need to observe the park rules: 

  • Speed limit is 15 mph

  • Hikers and equestrians have the right of way at all times

  • Mind road closure signs

  • Don’t forget your helmet! 

When To Visit

Many areas of the park are closed to bicyclists during winter, reopening when the snow melts in spring. But wildfires, muddy conditions, and more can cause road closures at other times of the year. 

Schedules and lists of closures are easily accessible through state park websites. Plan ahead!

Which E-Bike Classes Are Allowed?

Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on designated carriage roads only (those where regular bikes are also allowed).

They’re not allowed on standard hiking trails and footpaths in Minnewaska along with most other state parks.

Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited throughout the preserve.

In general, e-bikes are legal in New York.

New York follows the standard system of 3 classes of e-bikes, with one modification:

  • Class 3 e-bikes typically have a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.

  • However, NYC only recognizes and permits a maximum assisted speed of 25 mph on any e-bike. 

With that caveat, there’s one major restriction worth noting:

Class 3 e-bikes are illegal everywhere in New York State except NYC, according to the NYC Department of Transportation

This means, with or without a throttle, your e-bike should not be set to provide assisted speed over 20 mph anywhere else in New York State.

Do I Need a Driver’s License For E-Bikes In New York?  

New York does not require a license, registration, or insurance for e-bikes. 

However, helmets are required for riders ages 16-17. They're also required for all working cyclists in NYC. 

And anyone of any age riding a Class 3 e-bike must wear a helmet. 

Remember: Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed within NYC limits.

A busy New York intersection showing restaurants, taxis, pedestrians, and an e-bike rider

New York doesn’t require a license or registration for e-bikes, but helmets are required for Class 3 e-bikes. Image Source: Unsplash

Are There E-Bike Incentive Programs In New York? 

New York periodically offers incentive programs for e-bike purchases. 

In the past, these have included statewide initiatives as well as localized programs for areas including Buffalo / Niagara Falls, NYC, The Bronx, and Brooklyn.

Incentive programs are usually limited by time, total value, or the number of participants. They don’t always last long, so we won’t keep a live list on this page.

Take a look at our post on e-bike incentives for more info and resources.

Where Can I Find Magnum Bikes In New York?

While there are e-bike rentals all over the city, they aren’t the only option. 

Buying your own e-bike gives you unique freedom.

Over 250 authorized dealers and flagship stores across the US carry Magnum Bikes, including several throughout New York (not just NYC)! 

Visit any one of our Magnum Authorized Dealers in New York.

A long row of parked electric bikes for rent in New York

The cost of renting e-bikes in New York adds up quickly. Why not buy your own new e-bike? Image Source: Unsplash

E-Bikes New York FAQs

Here’s what people are asking about e-bikes in New York and NYC.

What Is The E-Bike Incentive In New York?

New York has offered e-bike incentive programs in the past and likely has some active incentives while you’re reading this. However, since the programs usually have caps on them, they don’t last long.

See our article all about e-bike incentives to learn more and visit regularly updated resources. 

Are E-Bikes Allowed In NYC Parks?

Yes! E-bikes are allowed in most NYC parks. Just make sure you follow posted rules.

Some parks may prohibit use of e-bikes on bicycle-only trails, so look for multi-use paths. 

If you’re looking at state parks or national parks in New York, the rules may be different from smaller NYC parks. 

For example, it’s common for only Class 1 e-bikes to be allowed in state parks, and only on certain trails. 

Do your research before you head out.

Are Electric Bikes Allowed On The NYC Subway?

Yes, e-bikes are allowed on the subway in New York! 

They’re also allowed on busses that have bike racks — no bike rack means you cannot bring your bike on the bus.

Interior of the New York City subway showing a train car moving out of the frame

E-bikes are welcome on the subway in New York. Image Source: Unsplash

What’s more, you can bring your e-bike on the Staten Island Ferry. However, you’re not allowed to charge the battery while on board. 

Take note: Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 e-bikes are permitted onboard the ferry, but not mopeds/electric motorcycles (max speeds higher than 28 mph, may be throttle-only).

Where do you love to ride your e-bike in New York?

Rider in green pants and sneakers on a white Magnum Cosmo e-bike

Time for a test ride?

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