These streets in Atlanta are named for civil rights leaders

New walking tour to highlight Atlanta’s ‘freedom trail’

It’s Steve Saenz’s hope that Atlanta will someday have an official “freedom trail,” lined with permanent markers to guide folks through some of the city’s history — similar to the one in Boston.

But in the meantime, Saenz has taken it upon himself to create an unofficial trail and provide the information himself on a walking tour. 

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He plans to officially launch the “ATL Freedom Trail” tour when the weather warms up in spring, but has started charting his course in the meantime.

Saenz, who runs Explore Atlanta, started leading walking tours through Atlanta after he retired six years ago. It was a chance for him to discover the city he’s called home for 35 years.

While he regularly leads groups along the BeltLine and down Peachtree, the freedom trail tour is new.

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“It occurred to me that there are so many things that are close together that have to do with freedom, liberty and civil rights,” he said.

Saenz said he wants to connect people with how special the area is — beginning at the Carter Center.

The tour will eventually make its way through Old Fourth Ward, to the state Capitol and beyond.

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In addition to offering regular in-person tours, Saenz has built a freedom trail website, which has information on each of the “landmarks,” so people who aren’t physically able to go on one of the tours can still have the experience.

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