COLORADO SPRINGS — A new challenge is in the works with Pikes Peak as the focal point. “Will eventually connect all the way around Pikes Peak,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. The trail called "Ring the Peak" will completely encircle America's Mountain.
“We think that the Ring the Peak trail when it’s completed will draw people that want to do trails like the Colorado Trail, like the Appalachian Trail, like the Pacific Crest Trail,” said Trails and Open Space Coalition, Executive Director Susan Davies.
There are site-seers fine with a view and selfie. Others seek out iconic sites with challenges to conquer. “Experiences, that’s what some people want,” said Davies.
The physically challenging Incline at the base of Pikes Peak is an example. “It has taken on a life of its own, and it’s iconic around the country now,” said Incline Friends, President, Bill Beagle.
Tens of thousands of people take on the steep step challenge every year. It’s a grueling physical test and some ask, why? There are others who travel hundreds of miles to see if they have what it takes to finish the climb.
“You can say I did that,” said Beagle, “There’s definitely a connection that goes on with appreciating your surroundings once you’ve taken on a challenge like that.”
Ring the Peak offers a potential similar appeal. Studies show it will attract visitors. “If they’re going to make the kind of investment to come to a place like this region they want something that’s gong to set it apart,” said Davies.
There are locals who may never use the Ring the Peak trail when completed. They can still benefit from the estimated economic impact. Davies said, “The first year, the second year, third year, it runs into millions truly.”
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