OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A walk in the park can be pure poetry —and now words on four trails in the forest echo the experience.
Those words, placed on signs along the trails, are by such poets as Emily Brontë, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein and Gary Snyder.
The fourth season of Poetry Walks will continue through May 31. Poems have been placed on signs along the Hall of Mosses Trail, the Living Forest Trail, the Madison Creek Falls Trails and the Peabody Creek Trail in Olympic National Park.
With the exception of the Hall of Mosses Trail, access to the trails is free.
Poetry was not placed along the Spruce Railroad Trail this year because of ongoing construction related to the Olympic Discovery Trail expansion.
The effort is a program sponsored by the North Olympic Library System — which oversees public libraries in Port Angels, Sequim, Forks and Clallam Bay — and the national park. Signs were installed April 1.
“The library and national park hope the playful combination of nature and art will encourage local residents and visitors to get out and be active, and remind them of two great, local resources that are always available to explore,” said Noah Glaude, assistant library director, in a news release.
Any who are inspired to write a poem or take a photo while on one of the Poetry Walks are encouraged to share it on the library system’s Facebook page or share it with their friends on Twitter with #FindYourPark.
The Living Forest and Peabody Creek trails begin at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 3002 Mount Angeles Road in Port Angeles — on the way to Hurricane Ridge. They offer 0.5-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 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 is a 0.8-mile loop trail that passes through big-leaf maples and Sitka spruces covered in vibrant green and brown mosses. The Hall of Mosses Trail begins near the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, which regular park entrance fees must be paid to access.
The libraries also offer hiking guides, trail maps, wildlife guides and poetry volumes. Explore Olympic! day packs — which are filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for kids — are available at all four libraries.
Thanks to a generous donation by Washington’s National Park Fund, each family that checks out a pack will receive a seven-day entrance pass to Olympic National Park.
The Poetry Walks program is being offered free to the public thanks to the support of the Port Angeles Friends of the Library.
For more information about other upcoming events, visit www.nols.org and select “Events” and “Port Angeles” or call 360-417-8500.