By Courtney Coleman (she/her)
One of the most popular parks in Atlanta is Stone Mountain Park. Despite growing up camping and hiking all around West Michigan, my first hike at Stone Mountain had me thinking, “this is more Black people hiking than I’ve ever seen in my life.” It wasn’t only Black people on the trail, there were people of all races, ages and backgrounds. It’s ironic that Stone Mountain would be the most diverse trail I had ever been on because it’s also the largest confederate monument in the U.S. Despite it’s racist symbolism, Stone Mountain is the place I never have to think twice about hiking as a queer Black woman.
My first experience at Stone Mountain had a big impact on me, changing the way I thought about hiking and the outdoors. I no longer thought hiking was for a certain type of person. I finally saw myself in the outdoors and knew there was a place for me. I hope that sharing my experience, both with QPOCHikers and on my own page, eases some fears or hesitations about getting outdoors.
Follow Courtney’s adventures on Instagram at capturedxcourt_outside.