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New bike park opens in San Marcos, first in North County

There's a new place in North County for bikers to drop off, jump, and corner the berms. KPBS North County reporter Alexander Nguyen says the badly needed park was years in the making.

There’s a new place in North County for mountain bikers to drop off, jump and corner the berms.

The 8-acre bike course at Bradley Park in San Marcos opened Monday. It includes a pump track, a perimeter trail and jump lines for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced.

“We've worked for a long time to work on a location in North County for such an amenity,” said Susie Murphy, executive director of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.


The association had championed the park in 2017 when the city found that some kids had built unsanctioned jump lines in a protected open space.

“But of course, that's not really the way to go about it," Murphy said. "So the city, contacted us and actually contacted some of those kids and families directly about how we could engage on finding a real place for an official bike park in San Marcos. “

Professional dirt bikers doing demonstrations at the new bike park Bradley Park in San Marcos, June 24, 2024.
Professional dirt bikers doing demonstrations at the new bike park Bradley Park in San Marcos, June 24, 2024.

The park is the first of its kind in North County. Previously, bikers would have to go to the South Bay, Orange or Riverside Counties for amenities like this.

The $1.1 million park was paid for in part by a Proposition 68 per capita grant, a County of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant, and donations from the San Diego Mountain Biking Association with additional grants secured by the Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation.

“We anticipate several hundreds and several thousand (riders) a day depending on the time of year and depending on the weather, of course," San Marcos Parks and Recreation director Mark Olson said. "But it's going to be a very popular amenity that we're happy to be able to provide, especially to our San Marcos residents.”


He said it's a great way to engage kids in recreational activities, especially now that school is over.

Zoe Primosch, the incoming San Marcos High Mountain Bike Club team captain, is already eying the benefits of having the bike park right next door.

“We're thinking about doing the Kenda Cup, the Team Big Bear series, which is more enduro and downhill-oriented," she said. "So with this bike park here, it's going to be really easy to practice. We're going to get more time to practice, and it's definitely going to help us.”

While this is the first bike park to open in North County, it won't be the only one. Two more are coming: one at Carlsbad Veterans Park is set to start construction in 2025, and one in Escondido is in the planning stages, though funding has been approved.

The bike park at Bradley Park requires no reservation. It's open from 10 a.m. to sunset, Tuesdays through Sundays. It's closed on Mondays for maintenance.

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