ONP Poetry Walk

Poetry Walks features nature-themed poems placed in inspiring locations along three Olympic National Park trails from April 1 through May 31. Returning for its 10th season, 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.

Poetry Walks, which began in 2014 and paused for a year during the pandemic, was the first program of its kind offered in any U.S. National Park, to the best of NOLS’ knowledge. “The program began as part of a healthy living series and it’s turned into an anticipated annual occurrence along the trails,” said Librarian Clair Dunlap.

“The poems bring new inspiration each spring and remind local residents to explore two great resources right in their backyard – the National Park and the Library.”

Poems will be placed on signs in Olympic National Park along the Hall of Mosses, Madison Creek Falls, 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.

“Poetry can distill the beauty of a fleeting moment like a beautiful ocean sunset, magnificent mountain sunrise, or glimpse of elusive wildlife into a few words,” said Lee Snook, Chief of Interpretation, Education and Volunteers at Olympic National Park. “We are thrilled to once again provide the opportunity to experience the park through poetry.”

About 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 beautiful 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 vibrant 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 oneway, offering several points of beach access as well as gorgeous 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 Jaiden Dokken, Ross Gay, Tim McNulty, Mary Oliver, Rena Priest, and many 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 social media and tag the North Olympic Library System and #MyParkStory or email discover@nols.org. National Poetry Month and National Park Week Events Exploring Poetry Walks is a great way to take part in National Poetry Month in April, and National Park Week, April 20-28. 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 20.

National parks have inspired artistic and creative expression for generations, and finding inspiration along the Poetry Walks is one way everyone can join in and celebrate the artistic legacy of national parks.

Whether you’re interested in additional poetry or new trails to explore, the NOLS collection has something for you. Hiking guides, trail maps, wildlife guides, and poetry volumes are all available for checkout. Explore Olympic daypacks—filled with discovery tools for exploring the park, including trail and field guides, binoculars and reading materials for kids—are perfect for families and can be placed on hold at www.nols.org/nols-gear. Thanks to generous support by Discover Your Northwest, families that check out a pack will receive a seven-day entrance pass to Olympic National Park.

The Poetry Walks program is offered to the public thanks to the generous support of the Port Angeles Friends of the Library. For more information about this and other upcoming events, visit www.nols.org or email discover@nols.org.