Popular Pikes Peak trail, Manitou Springs Incline, almost legal

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - One of the toughest and most popular hiking trails in Colorado Springs is a major step closer to becoming legal.

The Manitou Springs Incline is an old cable car railroad bed up the side of a mountain. The Incline was completed in 1907. The railroad ran off and on as a tourist attraction until 1990 when a rockslide damaged the tracks. Since then, it's become a popular trail for hikers and runners.

However, hiking and running the trail has been illegal. For years, visitors have ignored the no trespassing sign or taken a photo with it before climbing the hill.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 4073 into law. Congressman Doug Lamborn said the bill helps  clarify the legal status of the popular trail. 

The newly-signed law addresses right-of-way issues and  allows the city of Colorado Springs, through a joint agreement with the city of Manitou Springs, to maintain the trail and do long-needed improvements, according to Lamborn's office.

“The Manitou Incline trail has been a favorite of southern Coloradans for decades," Lamborn said. "Olympic athletes have even trained there. I am happy to say that outdoor enthusiasts can soon hike the incline with complete confidence that they are no longer trespassing! The Incline will soon be a public trail that will be appropriately maintained for beauty and safety."

The City of Colorado Springs has already passed a resolution in support of a trail maintenance plan.

After the City of Manitou Springs passes a similar resolution, the no trespassing signs will be removed.