First lady unveils Ohio’s newest Storybook Trail at Shawnee State Park

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 1, 2021

STOUT — Ohio first lady Fran DeWine and Ohio Department of Natural Resources director Mary Mertz celebrated on Friday the launch of Ohio’s newest Storybook Trail, now open at the Shawnee State Park Ohio River property in Scioto County.

“Today’s newest Storybook Trail is a great addition that many families will be able to take advantage of this summer,” DeWine said. “The outdoor trail offers a fun and educational experience for families to enjoy together.”

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, launched the Storybook Trail program in 2019 to promote the importance of literacy, a healthy lifestyle, and connecting with nature. There are currently 11 half-mile Storybook Trails located at state parks in Ohio, each with 15-20 child-height panels featuring pages of a children’s book and an activity to accompany the text on the page.

“We are thrilled to add a Storybook Trail to this newly designed riverfront area for guests of all ages to enjoy,” Mertz said. “Our Storybook Trails encourage families to explore the outdoors together, so we knew right away that the Shawnee Ohio River property was the perfect spot for them to make those new memories.”

This Storybook Trail features the book “Brother Eagle, Sister Sky,” which shares a lesson about the importance of respecting the earth, animals and nature. The book is illustrated by Susan Jeffers.

The property, redeveloped for use by visitors and the community, features a new camp store, fuel at the marina and new hiking and biking trails. Additional improvements include primitive campsites, a lazy river paddling pond, a bicycle pump course and additional trail miles. Full-service campsites, paved roads, a playground, dog park, archery range, adult fitness area, splash pad, shower house and additional restrooms are also planned for development at the Ohio River property.

There are currently 286,751 children enrolled in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, which provides one free book every month to children enrolled in the program from birth to age five. To learn more about the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library and how to participate, visit OhioImagination Library.org.

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 ohiodnr.gov. An interactive map of all Storybook Trails can also be found at ohiodnr.gov.