Categorized | Entertainment, Environment, Sports

Today is National Trails Day (June 4)

MEDIA RELEASE

HONOLULU — In observance of National Trails Day, on Saturday, June 4, Na Ala Hele, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s trails and access program encourages hikers to enjoy the state’s network of maintained public hiking trails and to hike safely.

National Trails Day was created to promote public awareness of and appreciation for America’s trails and the people who build and maintain them, to promote health benefits of trail walking, encourage partnerships between land managers, and encourage cooperative efforts among various trail users.

Na Ala Hele maintains an inventory of 111 trails and accesses in the State of Hawai‘i, which are managed forest trails statewide on public land ranging from short family hikes to longer advanced backcountry hikes. Information about the state’s island-wide hiking trail network and important safe hiking tips can be found online at www.hawaiitrails.org

“This year there have been several unfortunate incidents in which hikers needed to be rescued or recovered due to going off-trail or hiking on unimproved trails,” said William J. Aila, Jr. DLNR Chairperson. “We recommend people seek out and remain on trails that are improved and maintained for public use which can be found on the Na Ala Hele or State Parks websites.

“There are many excellent and popular public trails and access roads in our state forests and state parks, also outstanding trails in our national parks, which together offer enjoyable experiences in our natural environment for both novices and experienced hikers. We encourage the public to use only improved trails and enjoy these trails safely and responsibly,” he said.

“We also thank the many volunteers who have helped construct and maintain the trails within the state’s Na Ala Hele trails system,” Aila added.

Important information about Hiking Safely in Hawaii can be found in a brochure available online at www.state.hi.us/dlnr/brochures…

Day Use Trail Safety Tips:

Before You Go:

  • Get Information: Prepare your hiking route. get maps and directions, read all signs.
  • Inform others: Tell someone of your hiking plans including the trail name, location, and your estimated time of return.
  • Assess your capabilities: Be aware of your physical limitations, skills, and energy levels.
  • Check the weather forecast for the day: If a storm or flash flooding is forecast, consider hiking on another day – or select trails in dryer areas.
  • Carry a small pack with water: with some basic first aid materials, energy snacks, cell phone, and plastic garbage bag (for either collecting rubbish or to use as a rain gear).
  • Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes with good traction: This will make the hike fun for everyone, and improve your hiking skill and safety.

When You Are Out There:

  • ALWAYS STAY ON SIGNED AND MANAGED TRAILS! Only use trails and access roads maintained and designated for public use. Leaving a maintained trail is dangerous (i.e. hiking on adjacent ridgelines, gulches, or cliff climbing etc.). If there are no signs at all, you may be in danger of getting lost.
  • Pay attention: to posted warning and management signs.
  • If the direction of the trail looks confusing: go back and start over.
  • Do not hike alone: consider hiking with a group of people.
  • Keep track of time: by allowing sufficient time to return before dark.

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