The Biking on Long-Distance Trails (BOLT) Act will identify at least 10 existing long-distance bike trails and identify at least 10 areas where there is opportunity to develop or complete such trails. The bill will also allow the Department of Interior to publish and distribute maps, install signage, and distribute promotional materials.
A long-distance bike trail means a continuous route, made up of one or more trails, that is 80 miles or longer and may be used for mountain biking, gravel riding, touring, or road cycling.
“IMBA programs support a variety of trail experiences, from trails close to home to backcountry riding. The BOLT Act will be instrumental in creating those iconic backcountry experiences and making them more accessible to people across the country.” — IMBA Executive Director David Wiens
The BOLT Act will direct federal land management agencies under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior and the United States Forest Service to identify existing and potential long distance biking trails. The bipartisan legislation has been championed in the Senate by Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and in the House of Representatives by Joe Neguse (D-CO), Susie Lee (D-NV) and John Curtis (R-UT).
IMBA has been working with its IMBA Local partners, Corporate partners and other like-minded organizations to get the BOLT Act passed since it's ideation in 2018 and original introduction in 2021.
“In New Mexico and across America, there are millions of acres of federal lands that have gone untapped for responsible outdoor recreation use. This bipartisan legislation will make bike trails more accessible and safer across America and will provide a much-needed boost to the growing outdoor recreation economy.” — Senator Ben Ray Lujan
What the bill does
- Creates a catalog of a minimum of 10 existing long distance bike trails no less than 80 miles in length
- Develops an inventory where opportunities may exist to develop or complete long distance trails of no less than 80 miles in length
- Directs federal land management agencies to coordinate with stakeholders to develop resources to complete long distance trails
- Identifies the needs for signage, maps, and use of promotional materials
- Creates a Report to Congress with a detailed description of the above factors.
The Ouachita National Recreation Trail in Arkansas, High Country Pathway in Michigan, Maah Daah Hey in North Dakota, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail running from the Canada to Mexico border, and, when completed, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Utah are all mountain bike trails that could benefit from the BOLT Act.
“...it [BOLT Act] would diversify the economy, improve the physical and mental health of the community, and help attract much needed skilled workers looking for recreation close to home. I am sure there are many communities across the country who would see similar benefits.” — Jen Hanks, Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association
“The pace of bike travel allows us to better connect with the landscapes through which we ride. With more long-distance trails on federal lands, riders will develop a love for, and a commitment to take care of, the incredible public lands of our country.” — Adventure Cycling Association
“Bikepacking Roots is committed to providing opportunities and access to multi-day dirt-focused bikepacking routes. The BOLT Act is exciting legislation that supports our mission and will increase opportunities for developing long-distance bikepacking routes, particularly singletrack routes that require considerable support from land managers.” — Bikepacking Roots
Help Pass the BOLT Act
The BOLT Act was re-introduced in the Senate in March 2023, and has strong momentum as a stand-alone bill or as a complement to a potential outdoor recreation package. Help get the BOLT Act passed by writing to your elected officials to show your support. We've made the process easy!