MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– The Manitou Incline is a popular spot for hiking at the base of Pikes Peak west of Colorado Springs but in recent years it has fallen into disrepair because of increased use and age.
The Incline will undergo a major facelift during what’s being called the Trail Enhancement Project which will focus on improved safety, enhanced user experience, long-term sustainability of the trail and increased accessibility.
The trail is the remains of a former three foot narrow gauge funicular railway that was constructed in 1907. The tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990.
The Incline is famous for its sweeping views and steep grade, as steep as 68 percent in places, making it a fitness challenge. The incline gains over 2,000 feet of elevation in less than one mile.
Nearly 20 years of unmanaged trespass and use of the Incline have resulted in significant erosion on the mountainside and dangerous trail conditions.
Work on the Incline will include repair and replacement of damaged retaining walls, cleanup of rebar and loose debris, construction of additional drainage structures stabilization of existing ties and stabilization of surrounding slopes.
The new drainage structures will significantly reduce the velocity of water which is considered a critical factor in reducing erosion and ensuring the Incline’s long-term life.
The Incline will be closed from August through November while those improvements are made.