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Reader: Incline traffic is out of control on Barr Trail 

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO
  • File photo

I was hiking on the Barr Trail today and I could not help but notice the excessive numbers of people coming down the trail. That ruined the experience of hiking on the first section of the trail, both on the way up and on the way down.

I believe the management of the Incline is in violation of the agreement to legally open the Incline. The Manitou Incline Task Force conducted a public comment process before the Incline was legally opened. The public was told that 75,000 people were hiking the Incline each year. We were told everyone agreed that number of Incline users was putting too much of a burden on the Barr Trail, and as part of the agreement to legally open the Incline the public was told that an alternate route down from the Incline would be constructed. That was six or seven years ago, and the Incline has been legally open for over four years.

To my knowledge the city is not making aggressive efforts to provide an alternate route down from the Incline, and such a trail could not be built for several years.

The public did not approve allowing 300,000 or more people to hike the Incline in a year. Incline management must do what ever is necessary to limit the number of people hiking the Incline until solutions to the overuse of the Barr Trail can be found and implemented.

Representatives of several entities such as Friends of the Peak and the Incline Club were on the Manitou Incline Task Force, and they said that they wanted to make sure that the Incline would be legally opened and managed in such a way as to not harm the mountain. I cannot help but wonder where those people and entities are now. Do they not hike the Barr Trail, and see the out-of-control situation?

— Carl Strow, Colorado Springs

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