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Hiking open on popular trail near Colo. Springs

Published On: Apr 01 2013 09:47:44 AM CDT

It is still illegal for hikers to climb the Manitou Incline, but hundreds of thousands use it every year. How close are we to legalizing it?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Now it's official. The cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs are dedicating a steep, rugged trail along the Manitou Incline to the public on Monday, although thousands of hikers have been using it.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and congressman Doug Lamborn are attending a ceremony on Monday recognizing the new designation.

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 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.

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