Soar like an Eagle at the Eagle/Ada Sports Complex

The Park is a Magnet for a Myriad of Cyclists and More

The Eagle/Ada Sports Complex has grown from its dusty origins as a dry patch of sagebrush and cheatgrass east of Eagle to one of the most vibrant, unique parks in the Treasure Valley.

The park’s calling card is its bike facilities, but it’s also a hangout for skaters, hikers, trail runners, dog walkers and a hardy bunch of roller derby gals.

Let’s start with the biking because that’s how the park originated. Years ago, a group of local bikers looked at an undeveloped section of the lower Boise Foothills and envisioned a network of mountain bike trails.

Through mostly volunteer labor and with permission from the local government they scratched out several miles of trails. Those trails sparked the Eagle Bike Park, which later became a joint operation between the city of Eagle and Ada County and renamed the Eagle/Ada Sports Complex. Fast forward years later and it’s one of the Treasure Valley’s favorite cycling and recreation hubs.

On race days, tykes to teens stare at a steel gate about to fall and then sprint around an undulating BMX track. The racers, organizers and volunteers are a multiage family gathering and they make every race a festival.

Above them, folks cruise mountain bikes on ribbons of tan singletrack trail with panoramic views that stretch all the way to the Owyhees. It’s common to see kids on their first bikes grunting up the short-but-steep climbs, or gray beards pedaling shiny, full-suspension bikes that probably cost more than their first cars.

At the top, a group of full-face helmeted riders in pads and armor attacks the park’s downhill-only trails that are riddled with soaring jumps, white-knuckle platform drops and steeply bermed corners so the riders can milk every ounce of gravity-fueled speed.

Nearby, the brave and skilled test themselves on the jump lines, which are as the name implies. The goal isn’t to ride a trail; it’s to perfect your airborne skills with style and precision and hopefully avoid an impromptu trip to St. Luke’s urgent care.

At the bottom of the park, kids pedal their bikes around the “pump track,” which is a series of humps, bumps and corners similar to a mini BMX track where they master the basics and get a taste of what they will soon ride elsewhere at the park.

Bikers are rarely alone at the Eagle/Ada Sports Complex. The sculpted skateboard park is a magnet for neighborhood groms on skateboards, scooters and bikes and the kids put on a display of tricks that make old-schoolers tip their hats in respect and silently ask “how did these kids get so good?”

Roller-skating gals practice on the cement hockey rink and they’re the next wave of derby gals—athletes with a hint of Riot Girl. You can’t watch them and not appreciate the verve, style and soul they bring to their sport.

Part of the fun of the park is its laid-back vibe. People get along, and you might see a bearded, tattooed mountain biker giving tips to a young rider, or moms in minivans unloading a tangle of bikes and shooing the kids off to ride while they relax in lawn chairs. Or, they’re just as likely to pull out a bike of their own and join the young chargers.

Like most community parks, there’s no admission to the Eagle/Ada Sports Complex except this: Bring a good attitude, respect others and get along, whether you’re riding, hiking, walking your dog or shredding the skate park. Burn some energy, appreciate the vibe and when the opportunity comes to help maintain trails, help with races, improve facilities or advocate for the park, step in and do your part.

The Eagle/Ada Sports Complex is located on Old Horseshoe Bend Road just north of its intersection with Floating Feather Road near the border of Eagle and northwest Boise. It features a 12,500-square-foot skateboard park, basketball hoops, picnic area and restrooms. The skate park was a joint effort by the city of Eagle and Ada County. Other features include bike trails and a BMX course.