It’s small but mighty. It’s not even a mile of trail. And yet it’s one of the most exciting trail approvals this year. Connectivity, community and conservation come together to significantly improve not only the trail experience but the Eagle community as a whole.
The trails in Eagle are split into two distinct areas. East Eagle includes the infamous Boneyard – Pool & Ice – Haymaker routes. Hillbilly – Will’s Thrill – Belly Up – Three Sisters all came online within the last 5 years and provide amazing loop options. Over in West Eagle you have the iconic Eagle Ranch Loops that connect into Adams Way dumping you out onto Hardscrabble Road with access to all of West Eagle. Until this year there was no connection between East and West Eagle unless you used Brush Creek Road. With increasing traffic and limited sight lines on the road, the connector is a significant improvement for the safety of all users.
In partnership with Eagle County Open Space, Hardscrabble Trails Coalition (HTC) and the VVMTA, the Adam’s Way Connector is being built as we speak. The first part of the trail was flagged by HTC and cut in with help from the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and the VVMTA Trail Conservation Crew. The property that the trail is on belongs to Eagle County Open Space and is part of the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. The trail is not yet complete and currently dead ends into a barbed wire fence. Next year, the remainder of the trail will be built through the fence. This part of the trail requires specific engineering to accommodate annual irrigation for their ranching operations. Ultimately, the trail will connect over the property to a crosswalk so you can directly access the Three Sister’s Trail on Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space. Adam’s Way and Connector will have a seasonal closure of December 1 thru April 15 but please remember that Three Sister’s trail is closed thru June 30. When it’s finished, it will provide an outer rim trail for long-distance users between East and West Eagle. It will also provide a significantly safer user experience by eliminating the need to use Brush Creek Road. We will provide a final construction update in the Spring of 2024.
But the connectivity is just the beginning of the story of this little trail. It’s part of a bigger vision to connect our community to over 1,671 acres within the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space that is forever conserved. This conservation is the power of a community that is committed to preserving the heritage and character of our valley. Additionally, it provides a winter & spring haven for the local wildlife with an extended seasonal closure until June 1st. Back in 2017, to further protect the local wildlife, VVMTA, HTC, Eagle County and the CPW all agreed to place a winter seasonal wildlife closure on the Third Loop and Extra Credit Loop on Haymaker. It’s just one of the many ways our community is working to actively balance recreation and habitat preservation.
There are so many amazing organizations and partnerships that have been working together over the last 50 years. The Eagle Valley Land Trust, Eagle County Open Space, Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee, Town of Eagle, and committed local citizen advocates have truly shaped Eagle. Not many people know that back in 1972 a developer started assembling land in the Brush Creek Valley and made plans for a large ski area, golf courses, and over 1,600 homes. In 1999, after years of community opposition to the development, GOCO funding helped conserve a portion of the land by expanding Sylvan Lake State Park and United States Forest Service lands by 1,782 acres, halting the ski area concept.
In 2020, thanks to additional support from GOCO, the Eagle Ranch Wildlife Committee, the Town of Eagle, and the Eagle Valley Land Trust, an additional 131 acres was acquired and conserved, making the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space now a 1,671 acre conserved landscape.
So please get out and enjoy this little trail and our slice of paradise. And as you weave your way through the landscape, take a moment to thank those who shaped Eagle into the amazing community it is today.