Intemann Trail history
summary     the first hike

Trail founders, Kenyon Jordan and Robert Naatz

The following is excerpted from a document written by Ken Jordan for a 1994 project in which the Intemann Trail Committee got help from the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC),as it also had for the initial project in 1987 and again in 1989.
    The Intemann Trail was first envisioned by the late Manitou Springs city planner, Paul Intemann. It was his dream to connect the many unstructured paths following the contours along Red Mountain and Iron Mountain while providing area residents and visitors with an urban-access trail.
    But when Intemann died in a 1986 traffic accident at age 30, his dream might have faded away had it not been for a small group of people who either knew him or admired his idea. So enthused were these supporters that they didn't follow the typical approaches of community trail advocates (i.e., fundraising and lobbying local government for action). Instead, the group, calling itself the Intemann Trail Committee (ITC), set out to build the trail themselves.
    Ironically, if the initial Intemann project were proposed in the same way today, VOC might never have approved it because numerous details (including the actual route of the trail!) were not complete. However, 1987 was in the early years of VOC, the young organization was looking for projects to do, and Intemann's dream was an inspiring one. As it turned out, the details fell into place, the September 1987 project day featured beautiful weather (it even rained the night before to soften the soil), and VOC volunteers were joined by scores of eager local residents. At the end of the day, the 150-some workers had built almost a mile of trail, meandering west from the El Paso County Section 16 trail to the gentle slopes above the Crystal Hills subdivision of Manitou Springs. (See the accompanying map.)
 Building Iron Spring Trailhead, 1991
a volunteer hard at work     In 1988 and 1989, the ITC began developing its now-annual pattern of monthly workdays between April and October, performing maintenance or upgrades as well as adding new sections. This set the stage for the second VOC project in August 1989 which extended the trail west another half mile. As on the first VOC project, the volunteers (roughly 175 in all) consisted of equal parts VOC "regulars" and residents of the Pikes Peak region.
    Monthly ITC work projects from 1989 through 1993 built the trail in its current locations between Section 16 and Crystal Park Road and between the Iron Spring Trailhead and a point southeast of Manitou Springs Middle School. The two biggest projects in 1993 saw ITC volunteers joining with more than 100 parents and children from the middle school for "Bring a Parent" workdays organized by the school's science teacher.
Hikers literally follow
footsteps of Intemann

(originally written by Ken Jordan for the April 4th, 1986 Pikes Peak Journal, Manitou Springs, Colorado)

While the bells of Easter rang from the town below, a small but motley assemblage of grownups, children, and dogs, convened last Sunday for a hike along the Paul Intemann Trail.
    Walking there in spirit was Intemann himself, the late city planner who is credited with "discovering" the trail, which meanders through the foothills south of Manitou.
    Intemann's physical presence would have been appreciated, too, not just for the cheery intelligence he would have provided, but because he seems to have been the only person who knew the true length of the footpath.
    Intemann, 30, died in an auto crash in New Mexico March 19. A memorial fund established after his death is earmarked for the preservation of the trail.
    Leading the hike was local artist/tracker Bob Naatz, who had hiked a section of the route with Intemann a week before the planner's death. The day before, he said he had gone up and hiked parts of the trail to refresh his memory.
    "When I hiked with Paul, I really wasn't paying that much attention where the trail went," Naatz said.
    The section traveled by the group Sunday was from the city cemetery to Ruxton Avenue. The trail also goes east to Crystal Hills, but Naatz had not hiked that section with the planner, so he does not know quite how to get there.
    For the most part, the problem is not so much having to find a trail, but to know which of numerous alternatives is the best to take. The paths have been blazed over the years by hikers, indiscriminate of such niceties as public and private property boundaries. One pleasant aspect is that for the weary or time conscious, there are regular paths down from the main trail back down to city streets.
Paul Intemann
Paul Intemann, trail visionary
The Pikes Peak Journal's front page     Only in a few places is a person out of sight of the city; and along the way there are memorable views of the Garden of the Gods, Redstone Castle, Red Mountain, the Ute and Barr trails, the eastern plains and the city itself. Along with the views, a pleasant aspect of the trail is the lack of litter, despite the proximity to a major urban area.
    Also taking the hike Sunday were City Councilman Bill Koerner and City Manager Pat Lynch. Koerner said an initial step that could be taken in preserving the trail is trying to get an idea of whose land it goes through. That way, at least the city would know if the trail might be affected if the owner of a given property comes forward with development plans.

    Currently, Koerner said he knows of no imminent plans, other than tentative proposals in the area of Redstone Castle.
    Lynch said $800 has been donated to the memorial fund by 38 people or families. In a hike-along conversation with Naatz, Lynch was told that one beneficial expenditure would be for "water bars" along the various dry washes off the hillsides, to cut erosion of the trail during spring runoffs.
    Naatz is trying to get the Sierra Club, of which he is a member, interested in supporting city efforts to preserve the trail. That contact was a major reason why Intemann had asked Naatz to hike the trail with him, Naatz recalled.
    However, according to city officials, liability questions, combined with acquisition and maintenance costs and general city poverty, would tend to make unlikely the prospect of the trail ever being officially dedicated as a public path.
    Another member of the hiking group was Manitou artist Charles Rockey, whose recent painting exhibit was largely organized by Intemann. He as impressed by a part of the trail along one side of Red Mountain where Intemann and Mayor Dan Stuart assisted on a reforestation project several months ago. The project involved placing water bars and planting baby evergreens to hold the soil in place.
    While the other hikers went on, Rockey stayed behind with his sketch pad. He said he planned to make a drawing of the young trees to give to Intemann's widow, Robin.

Back to Top