Rathdrum Mountain sign
Literary Pursuits

Rathdrum Mountain Story Walk

Our little town (and our house) sits at the base of Rathdrum Mountain. Not long after we moved here I learned that part of the mountain is owned by the city, and part of it by a paper company which harvests trees.

The paper company portion has lots of logging roads. You can buy a permit which allows you access to that part of the mountain for recreational purposes. We love to take our ATV up there and spend an afternoon exploring the forest roads.

There were rumors that the city was going to develop their portion of the mountain into a city park with hiking trails. The first trail opened last summer. I was told it was a Story Walk, but I didn’t know what that meant, and we never did make it up there to check it out last year. Not that it’s that far away, only 2 or 3 miles, but you know how it is when something is in your own backyard.

Finally, early in May, we decided it was time for a fun little hike.

First, we were greeted by this ugly guy. Was the story meant to be about Sasquatch? Weird.

Next was a trash can, a sign welcoming us to the Story Walk, and another sign pointing the way.

Then we came to a signpost with the cover of a picture book by Karma Wilson, Bear’s New Friend. Notice the little Sasquatch dude peeking in from the side at the lower left corner of the book cover.

After we walked along a little further we came to another signboard with the next pages of the book… and Sasquatch making progress hiking along below the page.

A-ha! That’s what the Story Walk was! There are signposts at intervals throughout the hike with successive pages of the storybook…

…plus helpful directional signs to help keep us on the right path to read the story in order.

It’s a fun hike running along a pretty little creek, twisting around trees and up and down small hills. Nothing very strenuous. Perfect for small children… or out-of-shape middle-agers like us. We crossed the creek on the fat little logs provided for the purpose.

I can see where adding the storybook signposts would make it especially fun for little ones, scampering ahead to find the next page.

Since it was still early spring the foliage was more sparse than it probably is by now. I thought this bent tree was interesting. I wonder what caused it to grow that way.

I appreciated the half-way sign. But I still don’t know what Sasquatch has to do with anything. At least he was showing up on the signs so the statue at the beginning wasn’t totally random.

I was tickled to find a “flirting bench” near the half-way sign. The trail is moderate enough and we walked slow enough that I didn’t really need to sit down but it was a nice place to relax a minute and enjoy the quiet of the forest.

Near the end of the hike we crossed the creek again on a more traditional plank footbridge.

We met up with Sasquatch one more time as we were leaving.

And now I know what a Story Walk is! What a clever idea to add a little something extra to keep the small fry engaged!

I suggested to Lyle that it would be neat if they change the book out from time to time, too. They probably won’t, but it doesn’t seem like it would be hard to do.

Have you heard of a Story Walk other places? I don’t know if it’s a thing or not.

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