Storybook Trail opens new worlds at Horton

Friday, October 19, 2018
The Storybook Trail worked as intended when it was opened on Saturday at Henry Horton State Park with several families strolling the path reading the story and groups of boys running between each page of the story and reading them before moving on to the next.
Tribune Photo by Scott Pearson

The kids knew what to do instinctively, running from one station to another before stopping, not for a rest, but to read.

Henry Horton State Park officially opened their newly installed Storybook Trail on Saturday, with a ribbon cutting and snacks but the trail itself was the main attraction.

The trail is a partnership between the Tennessee State Park Conservancy and the Governor’s Book from Birth Foundation, better known as the Imagination Library,

The quarter-mile trail, located behing the Conference Lodge at the park, is lined with stations, each of which displays a page of “Little Owl’s Night”, one of the almost 300,000 books sent out to children under the age of five every month by Imagination Library.

This trail is one of six currently established at Tennessee State Parks with six more planned for next year. The goal is to eventually have one in every park.

Even better, said Ranger Ryan Jenkins, was the plan to rotate the stories regularly between the parks so that the trails always had a new book to read.

The new addition to the park ties in with the overall Healthy Parks, Healthy Person program aimed at getting Tennesseans outside and exercizing to improve overall health, while also promoting literacy.

“An educated population is a healthy population,” said Dean Hoskins, vice president of the Books from Birth Foundation.