Beginning Saturday some electric bicycles or e-bikes will be allowed on Acadia National Park's carriage roads where motorized vehicles have been prohibited.
Acadia is following an Interior Department directive to treat e-bikes like regular bicycles.
The park is allowing only lower speed, pedal-assisted "Class 1" e-bikes to be used on the carriage roads.
Acadia spokesperson Christie Anastasia says the speed limit on the carriage roads has been reduced from 25 to 20 miles per hour.
“Because the carriage roads were always meant to be a slow-paced recreational experience, I think that's a good speed limit,” she says. “For those folks who want to go faster there certainly are that have higher speeds where you can go 25 or 35 miles per hour which is typically the speed limit in the park.”
Supporters say e-bikes are great for riders who might not be able to use traditional bicycles because of physical fitness, age or disability.
Critics say they are too fast and could startle horses. They also say that the Rockefellers, who donated the carriage roads, didn't want motorized vehicles on them.
Ed note: Information from the Associated Press has been used in this story.