Manitou, From pinball to stunning trails
And don’t forget the people-watching
People-watching in Manitou is a professional sport, with all the hot, bothered tourists mixing with townies along crowded streets and sidewalks, interspersed with colorful hippies and the occasional street performer. Any vantage point will do, but take it to the next level with another activity, like touring the town springs. There are eight all together, with individual fountains and unique mineral contents. Read up at manitoumineralsprings.org. Spring sipping is free, but for a few bucks, you can play at the Manitou Arcade, with its hefty collection of vintage and new games suh as pinball, Skee-ball, air hockey, Space Invaders — if it’s an arcade game, you’ll likely find it here.
Standbys: Of all the trails in town, the Manitou Incline gets the most press. Formerly the tracks of a cable car that took tourists to the top of the mountain, what remains today is a 41-percent-grade, 2,744-step staircase that climbs 2,000 feet. Check availability before visiting, since the Incline often needs repairs, and be prepared for lots of friends along the popular trail.
For less workout and more nature, head to Red Rock Canyon Open Space (3550 W. High St.), a 1,474-acre wonderland that encompasses a scrubby hogback and ridges of red sandstone formations sheltering a little lush valley and a picturesque pond.