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Monday, April 20, 2015

HIking the Intemann Trail in Manitou Springs

Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs have so many great hiking trails within a short distance from and within the city. Probably why it is considered one of the healthiest places to live. That is just what people do here. If the sun is shining or it is snowing, people love to walk in the woods or mountain sides. There are trails for every level. In the springtime, April is one of the snowiest months and Pikes Peak is beautiful at 14,115 feet above sea level. Paul Intemann Memorial Nature Trail (named in honor of a Manitou Springs city planner) is a popular trail that winds south of Manitou Springs. It a is part of the Ring the Peak trail system but due to property easement dispute it is incomplete, with a gap in the middle. When hiking from north to south the trailhead is located off the Ruxton Avenue by the Iron Spring. Follow the trail through Spring Street and through the gate. After about 1/2 mile you will see a spur that leads up to the Red Mountain. Another 1/2 mile later the trail continues north on Pawnee Avenue through the city. Turn right on Southside Avenue, then walk a short portion of the trail to Delaware Road. The trail continues off the city streets again by the Tot lot. After passing by the High School you will reach the current end of the western portion of the trail at the cemetery. In order to hike the whole trail continuously you must take a detour through the city and come up on Crystal Park road to the next trail head. To hike the eastern portion of the trail start at the Section 16 trail head on Gold Camp Road. After 0.8 miles a sign marks the beginning of Intemann Trail to the right. The trail winds up and down at the foothills for about 2 miles until you reach Crystal Park Road. Climb up under the east side of the Sheep Mountain to trail's current end. Length: Total length of both segments is 5 miles. Difficulty: Easy to Medium. Trail is easy to hike but total distance does increase the difficulty if the whole trail is done in one day. Directions: Section 16 trailhead: From US-24 exit on 26th street. After driving through two switchbacks turn right to Gold Camp Road and the trailhead parking lot will be on the right side after about 0.9 miles. For Iron Spring trailhead park along the Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs or at the Barr Trail parking lot off Hydro Street.

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