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Coming soon to national park trails: electric bikes

Riding the 57 miles of carriage paths that meander throughout Acadia National Park on an electric bike? Now that sounds like fun.

Motorized electric bicycles may soon be humming their way into serene national parks and other public lands nationwide under a new Trump administration order.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is officially classifying the electric-powered bikes as non-motorized bikes and giving agencies 14 days to rewrite their rules accordingly.

He signed the order without fanfare on Thursday.

The move is being celebrated by e-biker supporters. They say the bikes are a boon to older riders and those with disabilities.

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But critics say it's a slippery slope that could change the nature of national parks. More than 50 hiking, horse-riding and other outdoor and conservation associations, including the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Pacific Crest Trail Association, objected in a July letter.

Credit: AP
In this June 8, 2019 file photo, Janice Goodwin stands by her electric-assist bicycle at a gate near the start of the carriage path system where bikes such as her are banned inside Acadia National Park.