On the Trail: Haymaker in Eagle | VailDaily.com

On the Trail: Haymaker in Eagle

On the Trail, brought to you by The Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, features a different Vail Valley trail twice per week.



Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5 miles

Trailhead: The Eagle Pool and Ice Rink; plenty of free parking available

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Description: Eagle’s new Haymaker trail is quite an achievement.

The trail went from being non-existent to hosting the Colorado High School Cycling League state championships in one year, thanks to cooperation between public and private land owners and stakeholders. As a result, Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick earned the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s community impact award for his work in bringing the Haymaker trail to Eagle.

“It’s definitely one of my favorite trails in the valley,” said Kostick, a longtime Eagle Valley resident and avid cyclist.

The trail is approximately 5 miles long and averages between 12 and 24 inches in width, and was constructed by Momentum Trail Concepts of Denver. With a plethora of intermediate features including short steeps, banked turns and narrow slots through glades of pinyon pine, the trail is ideal for high school league racing as it’s challenging yet navigable for riders of all abilities. Elevation gains are moderate compared to some of the other trails in the valley (on Haymaker you’ll do less than 1,000 feet of climbing throughout the whole ride), and Eagle’s starting point at 6,600 feet is a little less intimidating to those coming in from lower elevations to enjoy the trails in our area. But don’t let those numbers fool you – Haymaker reaches nearly 7,000 feet and has several steep downhill sections that will test riders of all abilities.

And the Haymaker trail is not just a test for mountain bikers. Hikers and trail runners enjoy it, as well, for the same reasons.

“It’s just a good all-around trail,” said Kostick. “And the views from the top are amazing.”

Eagle spent $75,000 on Haymaker and other nearby trails in 2013, and it shows. The trail is perfectly manicured, but Momentum left the natural features found in Eagle.

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“Some parts will have more silt, making it more difficult to ride and requiring more maintenance, but that’s the way the Earth is in that area,” said Matt Thompson with Momentum Trail Concepts. “We left it that way to keep it natural, and also to give riders something to aspire to.”

Kostick says 10 percent of the money that went into building Haymaker will be spent annually on maintaining it, with sections that require more maintenance being identified as part of a plan recommended by Momentum.

“We intend to make sure this trail stays nice like it is now,” said Kostick.

Momentum Trail Concepts’ resume includes the World Cup trails on Angel Fire Mountain in New Mexico, which brought the World Cup back to the U.S. after several years of no World Cup mountain biking competition here.

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