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Hiking the Manitou Incline or Barr Trail? Barr Trail parking lot requires reservation, increased fee

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Posted at 10:17 AM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 12:17:37-05

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. -- If you're planning to hike the Mt. Manitou Incline or the Barr Trail and want to park in the Barr Trail parking lot, you'll need a reservation and more money.

Manitou's City Council has doubled the parking fee from $10 to $20 and created an online reservation system.

Drivers can buy a four-hour parking reservation or a full-day parking reservation, but the price is the same, $20.

The Incline reopened Friday after being closed in August for repairs.

During the closure, crews repaired and replaced damaged retaining walls, cleaned up rebar and loose debris, added more drainage structures, stabilized the existing ties, and stabilized the surrounding slopes on the lower half of the trail. Similar work was completed on the upper half of the trail during a closure in 2014.

The Mt. Manitou Incline is a series of stairs/ties that climb 2,000 feet in just less than a mile. It's popular with hikers, runners and visitors.

The Incline started in early 1900s as cable tramway carrying materials for a hydroelectric plant and its waterline. After that, a local doctor bought the line and turned it into a tourist tramway.

After a rock slide damaged the track in 1990, the Incline was closed and the rails removed. When tourists stopped riding the rails, locals started hiking up the remaining railroad ties as a workout.

After a land swap and some of legal work, the Manitou Incline became a legal trail in 2013.

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