MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - A popular hiking that has been illegal for years is now open to the public.
Monday, the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs dedicated the steep, rugged trail.
The Manitou Incline, an abandoned cable car route west of Colorado Springs, rises more than 2,000 feet in a mile, and railroad ties serve as makeshift steps. The average grade is 41 percent. The Incline reaches 68 percent at the steepest point.
The two cities agreed to manage the trail, and officials say conditions for legally opening it have been met.
Even though it had been considered trespassing, as many as 500,000 people a year have been hiking the incline.
Beginning May 19, a new seasonal Manitou downtown shuttle will provide free rides from Memorial Park to all the surface parking lots in downtown Manitou Springs and will loop around at the Iron Springs Chateau on Ruxton Avenue, just below the Incline trailhead. The Shuttle will run every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily though September 7.