Amryl and Scott Geary of Sedro Woolley read one of several poems on the North Olympic Library System Poetry Walk at Madison Falls in Olympic National Park. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Amryl and Scott Geary of Sedro Woolley read one of several poems on the North Olympic Library System Poetry Walk at Madison Falls in Olympic National Park. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Trails garnished with poetry

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A fifth season of Poetry Walks is offering poems along four trails in Olympic National Park.

The joint project by the North Olympic Library System, which oversees public libraries in Clallam County, and the park began Sunday and will continue through May 31.

Poems have been placed on signs along the the Hall of Mosses Trail, Madison Creek Falls Trail, Peabody Creek Trail and the Spruce Railroad Trail in the park.

With the exception of the Hall of Mosses trail, access to the trails is free.

Because the park visitor center is closed for renovation, poems will not be placed along the Living Forest Trail this year.

Poets featured along the trails include Emily Brontë, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, Gary Snyder 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 NOLS’ Facebook page or share it with their friends on Twitter with #FindYourPark.

Here is a little information about the trails.

• The Peabody Creek Trail can be accessed from the Olympic National Park Headquarters area off of Park Avenue in Port Angeles.

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 half-mile loop trail.

• 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 is a 0.8-mile loop trail that passes through big leaf maples and Sitka spruces covered in vibrant green and brown mosses.

It begins near the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, which regular park entrance fees must be paid to access.

• The Spruce Railroad Trail, on which bicycles and pets are permitted, begins at the end of East Beach Road on the north side of Lake Crescent and follows an old railroad bed for 4 miles.

One mile of the trail near its western end is currently closed from the Camp David Jr. Road Trailhead due to improvements being made to the trail.

The Spruce Railroad Trail remains open from its eastern end for 2.7 miles — from the Lyre River Trailhead to the Daley Rankin Tunnel.

The timing of Poetry Walks isn’t coincidental. April is National Poetry Month, and National Park Week will take place April 21-29. National Park Week is celebrated at all national park areas across the country and features free admission to all national park units April 21.

All the library system libraries — Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay — libraries offer hiking guides, trail maps, wildlife guides and poetry volume.

Explore Olympic! daypacks — filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for children — are available at all four libraries.

Thanks to a donation by Washington’s National Park Fund, families that check out a pack will receive a seven-day entrance pass to Olympic National Park.

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

For more information about this and other upcoming events, visit www.nols.org or email discover@nols.org.

More information about the trails and areas of Olympic National Park can be found at https://www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm.

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