Storybook Trails expand across Ohio

The project first started in 2019, and has grown to include state parks and other outdoor reading trails
The project first started in 2019, and has grown to include state parks and other reading trails
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio’s Storybook Trail program is growing. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), in partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, launched the program in 2019. There are now 10 half-mile trails located in various state parks, each with 15-20 child-height panels featuring pages of a children’s book and an activity to accompany the text on the page. So far, Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon is the only state park in Northwest Ohio with a trail. While this trail has been welcoming visitors for nearly one year, others are just getting started.

On Wednesday, May 12, Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine helped open a new trail in Elyria, OH. It’s located at Black River Reservation Burr Oak Park. “I think that’s what the families really like, that they’re seeing things, and seeing the trail in a new way, that they’ve never seen it before,” said First Lady Fran DeWine. “Even if they know the particular park.”

It’s not just Ohio state parks offering these family literary experiences. Olander Park in Sylvania added StoryWalks in summer of 2020. The park currently offers two storybook trails in partnership with area libraries and organizations. Danielle Marino, Program Coordinator for The Olander Parks System, said she loves to see local families using the trails. “To me, it’s perfect. It gets families out together. It gets them to read a story, and enjoy nature at the same time.” Marino said the park system is pushing to get permanent storybook trail markers, similar to ODNR’s panels and markers. Currently the pages of each book are laminated and placed along the park’s loop trail. If you’d like to learn more about events and programs at Olander Park, visit their website.

Governor and First Lady DeWine will join ODNR to unveil several other new Storybook Trails in the coming days. A full list of ODNR’s Storybook Trails, as well as similar trails located at parks and library districts across the state, can be found at

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