Update June 9, 2020 – This new trail will provide Incline users who choose not to summit a safe option for returning to the base. It will intersect the Incline around step number 1,320 or more than 500 steps below the current bailout point which carries people to the Barr Trail.
Alleviating pressure on the Barr is a prime reason for constructing this trail. When completed, the trail will connect to the Ute Regional Trail – a tier one El Paso County trail to the north of the Incline and part of the Ring the Peak Trail system. Ultimately there will be a northern trail from the top of the Incline to connect up with this trail so those who make it to the top of the Incline will not have to use the Barr Trail at all. Because the top of the Incline is on U.S. Forest Service land, a NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act) study will be required so it will be a while before that top trail becomes a reality.
The northern routes have been a priority for Incline Friends and Colorado Springs Parks Staff for some time. First time users who find the Incline more challenging than expected will be able to exit the Incline and still enjoy a good workout and great trail experience. Thanks to Incline Friends for funding trail construction. The Incline remains closed at this time. When it reopens and the new northern route completed – we will let you know.
May 26, 2020 – Construction has begun on the first phase of the new Northern Incline Trail, which includes a 1.1 mile naturally-surfaced trail section just north of the Manitou Incline. The trail connects the Incline at railroad tie 1300 – approximately half way up the Incline – to the Ute Pass Regional Trail, providing an option other than Barr Trail for users to hike down from the Incline. Phase two of this trail – which is not ready to begin quite yet – will begin at tie 1300 and stretch to the top of the Incline. Construction is expected to last until the end of July 2020, weather depending.
A BIG thank you to the Incline Friends who contributed funding for planning, development and building costs.