The Manitou Incline is one of the most popular hikes in Colorado, and now there are the numbers to prove it.
The City of Colorado Springs has installed a counter device near the base of the incline. The device is the first of its kind in the United States, and cost the city about $4,000.
"What happens is there's a series of staggered slabs. So, as you walk up you hit one slab, followed by the next slab, and it knows you're going uphill," said Jeff Webb, senior grants and design analyst with the city of Colorado Springs.
Webb said the data shows that there are approximately 1,000 people that hike the trail every day. The counter also provides data regarding the busiest times of the day, which are at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m..
"That's a wonderful management tool. We have a free shuttle, so we can time the shuttle to when the use patterns are the highest," said Webb.
The data is also being used to apply for grant money to make repairs to the incline.
Sandi Yukman, vice president of Incline Friends, said it will cost about $1 million to make the necessary repairs to the incline. She said the grants could cover up to $550,000. Yukman said various groups are attempting to raise the difference through fundraisers and donations.
One way hikers can help to support the efforts on the incline is to give cash at the donation box at the base of the incline.
There is also a "Dinner and Show" fundraiser being held at the Iron Springs Chateau on Oct. 4. Reservations are $30 per person, and include an improv show, dinner and a free parking voucher at the Iron Springs Chateau. Half of the proceeds will go toward the needed erosion mitigation and trail maintenance.
Another opportunity to give back includes participating in the "Volunteer Day" on Sept. 14.
For more information on all of these opportunities, click here.
For more information on the counter, click here.