Julie McCord Brân McCord stands before a poem at the Spruce Railroad Trail in 2022.

Julie McCord Brân McCord stands before a poem at the Spruce Railroad Trail in 2022.

Poetry Walks set on five ONP trails

Nature-theme poems offered beginning Saturday

PORT ANGELES — The poetry of nature will take on a whole new meaning beginning today.

Poetry Walks return for its ninth year, with nature-themed poems placed along five Olympic National Park trails today through May 31.

The experience is designed by North Olympic Library System (NOLS) in partnership with Olympic National Park to combine nature and art in playful and poignant ways.

“Pausing to read poetry while out enjoying nature might make you notice something new along one of these favorite local trails,” Librarian Clair Dunlap said.

Poems are on signs in Olympic National Park along the Hall of Mosses, Living Forest, Madison Creek Falls, Peabody Creek and Spruce Railroad trails.

The Hall of Mosses Trail requires visitors to pass through the Hoh Rain Forest entrance station to show or purchase a National Park Pass.

“Olympic National Park is excited to partner with the North Olympic Library System to offer this opportunity for visitors to read, reflect, and be inspired,” said Dean Butterworth, Olympic National Park outreach and education specialist.

About the Trails

The Living Forest and Peabody Creek trails begin at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, and offer half-mile mile loops.

In the spring, skunk cabbage, a native plant found along streams and other wet areas of the woods, blooms and provides vibrant color (and possibly scent) along the trails.

The Madison Creek Falls Trail is located in the Elwha Valley and offers a paved 200-foot walk to the base of the falls.

The Hall of Mosses Trail, accessed through the Hoh Rain Forest entrance station, is a 0.8-mile loop trail that passes through big leaf maples and Sitka spruces covered in green and brown mosses.

The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad along the north shore of Lake Crescent for 4 miles one-way, offering several points of beach access as well as views of the Punchbowl, Mount Storm King and Barnes Point.

More information about the trails and areas of Olympic National Park can be found at www.nols.org/poetry-walks and www.nps.gov/olym.

About the Poetry

Poets featured along the trails include Jericho Brown, Ross Gay, Tim McNulty, Mary Oliver, Rena Priest, and others.

Those who find themselves inspired to write a poem or take a photo while on one of the Poetry Walks are encouraged to share it on social media and tag the North Olympic Library System and #MyParkStory or email discover@nols.org.

The Poetry Walks program is offered to the public through the support of the Port Angeles Friends of the Library.

National Poetry Month is April, and National Park Week is from April 22-30. National Park Week is celebrated at all national park areas across the country and features free admission to all national park units on Saturday, April 22.

NOLS libraries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay offer hiking guides, trail maps, wildlife guides, and poetry volumes for checkout. Explore Olympic! daypacks — filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for children —can be placed on hold at www.nols.org/nols-gear. Thanks to support from Discover Your Northwest, each family who checks out a pack will receive a seven-day entrance pass to Olympic National Park.

For more information about NOLS events, visit www.nols.org or email discover@nols.org.

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