Libraries, Olympic National Park offer Poetry Walks

This spring the North Olympic Library System is teaming up with Olympic National Park to offer a second season of Poetry Walks.

This spring the North Olympic Library System is teaming up with Olympic National Park to offer a second season of Poetry Walks.

This year’s program begins April 13 and continues until June 14, and features poetry along four trails in Olympic National Park.

Library and park officials encourage local residents and visitors to get out and be active.

During Poetry Walks, poems will be placed on signs along the following trails in Olympic National Park: the Living Forest Trail, the Madison Creek Falls Trails, the Peabody Creek Trail; and Spruce Railroad Trail. Access to all four trails is free.


About the trails

The Living Forest and Peabody Creek trails begin at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, and 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 (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 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.

More information about the trails and areas of Olympic National Park can be found at and Poets featured along the trails include Emily Brontë, Carlos Castaneda, Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, Gary Snyder and more. 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.

“Some people might stumble upon the poems after they’re out on a hike, while others may choose to make the 15 minute walk from the Port Angeles Library up to the Park Visitor Center and discover the great trails that surround it for the very first time,” Port Angeles Library manager Noah Glaude said.

“We received a lot of positive feedback about the Poetry Walks when they were first offered in 2014. People regularly came in during the summer and said they wished the signs were still up, and the program inspired similar events at other libraries and national parks.” National Poetry Month, National Park Week Events

The timing of Poetry Walks isn’t entirely coincidental. April is National Poetry Month, and National Park Week takes place April 18-26. During National Poetry Month, a free workshop with Seattle poet and teacher Jeanine Walker will take place April 14 at the Port Angeles Main Library, and PoetrySLAMS will feature local students reciting their original work and competing for a chance to have their poetry included in Poetry Walks.

On April 18 and 19, the opening weekend of National Park Week, admission to all the exciting areas of Olympic National Park—including Hurricane Ridge—will be free.

“We are grateful to NOLS and the Friends of the Library for giving our neighbors and visitors another way to get out and experience their park,” Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum said.


Find your park

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.

More information is available at and the Olympic National Park website,

Hiking guides, trail maps, wildlife guides and poetry volumes are all available for checkout at local libraries! “Explore Olympic!” daypacks — filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for youths — are available at all four NOLS locations.

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

For more information about this and other upcoming events, visit and select “Events” and “Port Angeles,” or call 417-8500.