Categorized | Environment

Hike, explore & protect Kahuku

October 8 marked the grand opening of the Palm Trail, a new 2.6-mile loop trail in Kahuku, at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit in Ka‘u. Photo courtesy of NPS/Dave Boyle

Kahuku at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Kahuku Unit in Ka‘u. (Photo courtesy of Dave Boyle | NPS)

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Two adventurous programs offered by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will introduce a captivating landscape, biodiversity and history of the park’s southernmost section to intrepid hikers.

People and Land of Kahuku is a two-mile, three-hour expedition through pastures, a quarry, an airstrip and the 1868 lava fields of Kahuku. Rangers will explain how people lived on the vast Kahuku lands, from the earliest Hawaiians through today.

Walk in emerging native forest, hear about Kahuku’s history of violent earthquakes and eruptions and the residents who survived them, and find out how Hawaii Volcanoes National Park plans to restore the native ecosystem and protect Kahuku’s cultural sites.

The hike is offered May 19, June 3, July 15, and Aug. 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet near the Kahuku gate, which is located off Highway 11 between mile markers 70 and 71 on the mauka side of the highway. Park and meet inside the gate near the ranch buildings. Boots, raingear and long pants are recommended. No advance registration is required.

Kipukaakihi is a challenging 1.5 mile, five-hour adventure to see some of the rare plants and wildlife that inhabit this treasured kipuka.

Participants must be prepared to scramble over fallen trees, lava rock, and slippery, wet terrain. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, long pants, sunscreen and a hat. Bring raingear, garden gloves, a day pack, insect repellent, lunch and water.

This forest stewardship program provides opportunities to help protect this rainforest by pulling up invasive kahili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kipuka.

Due to the fragile nature of the region, the program is limited to 15 people and pre-registration is required.

To sign up, call 985-6011.

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