Larimer County to Launch E-bike Study at Devil’s Backbone Open Space

Larimer County Department of Natural Resources Launches Exploratory E-bike Study on Select Soft-surface Trails at Devil’s Backbone Open Space Beginning July 15

For the first time, Larimer County Department of Natural Resources will be implementing an exploratory E-bike study on designated natural surface (soft) trails in Devil’s Backbone Open Space beginning July 15. This study will end on Feb. 15, 2021.

The study period will allow Class 1 E-bikes at Devil’s Backbone Open Space on the following designated natural surface trails to permitted users only: Hidden Valley, Laughing Horse Loop, Hunter Loop, Blue Sky, and Indian Summer. The designated trails combine to offer approximately 12 total miles. No other natural surface trails in Larimer County will be designated as part of the study, nor will any trails in the Fort Collins or Loveland trail system (Horsetooth Mountain Open Space/Coyote Ridge/Prairie Ridge).

Participants in the study will be limited to 30 individuals selected through a random lottery, which is now open through June 30.  Permitted participants will be chosen on July 1. Interested participants for the permit lottery will need to submit their contact information by July 1 at

Class I, two-wheel E-bikes are allowed, defined as an electrically assisted bicycle equipped with a motor that aids only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance at 20 mph.  Class 2 and 3 E-bikes are not allowed.

Several factors have spurred the E-bike study period in Larimer County including the growing demand in the market, increased recreational use on trails, emerging electric motorized vehicle technology, and greater accessibility to the outdoors for those needing assistance.

The exploratory E-bike study period will provide an opportunity to collect data to assess safety, trail experience impacts, public opinion, and trail etiquette awareness as they relate to E-bike use on natural surface trails. This phase will help inform potential future studies and a system-wide travel planning effort.

The E-bike study does not guarantee, nor will it automatically allow E-bikes on any or all-natural surface trails in Larimer County following the study period. Opportunities are available for the public and riding community to submit comments via the website and social media platforms.

For more information about the study, please visit
For details regarding the E-bike permit lottery, visit

To submit general comments or feedback, please visit

About Larimer County Department of Natural Resources
Natural Resources manages Larimer County’s great outdoor places, including magnificent open spaces and water-based recreation areas, and fosters responsible land stewardship through weed management and healthy forest practices. To learn more, visit

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