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Incline could open for legal use Feb. 1
Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs city councils will vote this month
After more than two decades of illegal use, hikers may soon be able to hike up the Manitou Incline without breaking the law.
Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs city councils will vote this month on a resolution to legally open the trail Feb. 1, according to the Incline Friends group.
"Having been involved in the process of opening the Incline since 2009, I'm delighted to see that the Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs City Councils are on the brink of legalizing hiking on the Incline," said Incline Friends president Steve Bremner in a news release.
Though they are trespassing on private property, as many as 500,000 people a year take the arduous hike up the old railroad ties, running 2,000 feet up the side of a mountain.
The train shut down in 1990. Incline users and local officials have been working for more than four years to legally open the trail. An intergovernmental agreement approved by both cities last year paved the way for its opening, setting 13 conditions for legal opening.
The Incline Friends said Colorado Springs City Council will vote Tuesday and Manitou Springs City Council will vote Jan. 29.
Even if both councils approve legal opening, the hard work is nowhere near done.
Manitou officials are still studying solutions to the parking mess created by Incline users, who in summer clog downtown parking spaces.
And the Incline Friends say they need to raise $1 million, $200,000 of that by March to meet a grant application deadline, to make the trail safer. Bristol Brewing Co. will host a fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 15, donating $1 from every pint sold to the group. Click here for other ways to donate.
There are no immediate plans to charge a fee to use the Incline, though the intergovernmental agreement says that can change if legal use proves too unwieldy.