Hiking open on popular trail near Colo. Springs

POSTED: 08:47 AM MDT Apr 01, 2013 
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.