In recent months there has been an upsurge of organized mountain biking groups attempting to gain access to sections of National Scenic Trails where mountain bikes are currently prohibited. These trails – or in some cases, sections of these trails – were neither designed nor built for mountain bike use. Due to concerns about safety, sustainability, and the displacement of hikers on trails with heavy bike usage, AHS believes that the sections of National Scenic Trails, where mountain bikes are currently prohibited, should remain closed to bikes..
In the coming year, American Hiking Society will be working with federal agencies, hiking clubs, and others in the outdoor recreation community to address this issue as it affects the hiking experience on National Scenic Trails.
American Hiking Society is devoted to the interests of hikers and to the creation and protection of trails that serve hikers. While AHS is not opposed to mountain biking and, in fact, has worked alongside the mountain biking community to promote and protect trails, including multi-use trails, there are times we must speak out on behalf of the hiking community.
For countless hikers these bike-free trail sections are an oasis – a place where as a hiker you can connect with nature at a slower pace. American Hiking believes there must continue to be room in the national trails system for trails where hikers can enjoy just such an experience and we believe it is critical to protect this for you and for future generations.
We do want to be clear: AHS does not oppose mountain bikers sharing trails where the trail was designed to be shared with mountain bikes and where it was built sustainably. We do, however, believe that some trails are best enjoyed without the concern of sharing them with fast-moving bicyclists. On such trails, we invite mountain bikers to secure their bikes at the trail head and join us for a nice hike on the trail.
Read our FAQ about the Save Your Trails Campaign.
Read the American Hiking Society Mountain Bike Policy.