- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - About 15 square miles on the southern face of Pikes Peak are reopening to the public after more than a century of being off-limits, Colorado Springs officials announced Thursday.

The South Slope Recreational Area has been called an untamed slice of Pikes Peak and is home to bighorn sheep and several reservoirs built between 1878 and 1912.

The area was closed to the public in 1913 after the federal government deeded it to the city for watershed protection, Mark Shea of Colorado Springs Utilities told The Gazette (http://bit.ly/10mjGmm ).

The newspaper reports that the area will be open seasonally. It will be open this weekend and again the following Thursday through Sunday before it closes for the winter.

The seasonal closure aims to keep people safe amid the remote area’s steep roads and lack of cell coverage.

Two of the three reservoirs in the area will be open to fishing, but hunting, camping, stream fishing and ice fishing will be banned.

Volunteer groups, including Friends of the Peak, have constructed several miles of trails for use by hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders.

Limited parking requires visitors to reserve spots in advance for a fee.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com

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