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Colorado trail named after Black hiking legend

Words by Tess Becker

One of the best aspects of the United States is the diverse peoples and cultures that make up the country. But diversity isn’t always represented in the world around us. People of color and indigenous people are consistently underrepresented in leadership positions and decision making processes, but also in seemingly small parts of society, such as the names of schools or state parks. This is something that Colorado is beginning to turn around with its newly named trail.

The trail is called Winston K. Walker Loop Trail and is named for Winston K. Walker, a hiker, guide, and outdoorsman. He is remembered for breaking down barriers that shut out people of color from outdoor activities. 

The trail is the first in the Denver Mountain Parks System to be named for a Black person. 

Jessica Newton, the founder of Vibe Tribe Adventures, was friends with Winston. Her Colorado non-profit is dedicated to encouraging Black, Indigenous, and other minorities to enjoy America’s outdoor spaces. 

“My parents would take me to these places and the platforms would tell you about a trail, or a person, but I’d never see anyone that looks remotely close to my color,” she said.

“Not a person of color, not an Asian person, not even a Native American person, honoring them.”

And now she’s celebrating the opening of the newly named trail.

“We thought, ‘hey, we had this legend in our community who was such a movement within Colorado.’ We raised funds, we got signatures, we had to go to city council, make presentations to parks and rec, the board, the committee, to get this passed,” Newton said.

The previously unnamed path begins at the west trailhead from the parking area of O'Fallon Park.

You'll be able to check out amazing views over the course of the nearly 3-mile path.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more

Giraffe Conservation Foundation. They help nonprofits protect and conserve giraffes. Check them out here

This article aligns with the UN SDG Quality Insitutions.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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