April 13 - June 14 the Port Angeles Main Library will partner with Olympic National Park to offer a second season of Poetry Walks, four self-guided walks on trails featuring poetry in the landscape. Poems will be placed on signs in multiple locations along four trails in Olympic National Park; the Living Forest Trail, the Madison Falls Trail, the Peabody Creek Trail; and Spruce Railroad Trail. All four trails can be accessed without paying fees and will allow users to enjoy beautiful landscapes and a variety of poems for inspiration.
Poets featured along the trails include Emily Brontë, Carlos Castaneda, Shel Silverstein, Gary Snyder and many more. If you find yourself inspired to write a poem or take a photo while on a Poetry Walk, share it with NOLS on Facebook.
The Living Forest Trail and Peabody Creek Trail both start from the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles and offer pleasant 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 (and possibly scent) along the trails.
The Madison Creek Falls Trail is located in the Elwha Valley and parking is located right off of Olympic Hot Springs Road immediately before the national park pay station. The paved trail is 200 feet to the base of the beautiful Madison Falls.
The Spruce Railroad Trail begins at the end of East Beach Road on the north side of Lake Crescent. The trail, which bicycles and pets are permitted on, follows an old railroad bed for 4 miles. More information about all of the trails and areas of Olympic National Park can be found at the links below or by visiting the
Olympic National Park website.
The timing of the Poetry Walks isn’t completely coincidental. April is National Poetry Month and National Park Week runs April 18 through 26. During National Poetry Month, several poetry related events will be occurring at the Port Angeles Library and during the opening weekend of National Park week, admission to all areas of Olympic National Park, including Hurricane Ridge, is free.
This spring also marks the beginning of a new campaign to reintroduce the national parks and the work of the National Park Service to a new generation of Americans, inviting them to visit, explore and get involved. The two-year effort will run throughout the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary year in 2016. Plans for the campaign, entitled “Find Your Park,” are underway in collaboration with the National Park Foundation.
The Poetry Walks are being offered to the public with the generous support of the Port Angeles Friends of the Library.
Interested in exploring Olympic National Park more? Check out an Explore Olympic daypack!