Crusin’ Kalōpā State Park with Tita Nui
Approximately 40 miles north of Hilo, right outside the little town of Honoka‘a, is a beautiful state park tucked away up near the forest reserve.
Kalōpā State Park is 100 acres and adjoins an additional 500 acres in the Kalōpā Forest Reserve.
Simply follow the signs posted along the Māmalahoa Highway (Route 19) that will lead you up through the windy residential roads.
The park contains an arboretum of native trees. A number of rare and endangered trees and plants can be found, including the loulu palms (Pritchardia), as well as a number of rare native hibiscus.
A short self-guided trek along the .7 mile loop trail through the forest of native ōhiʻa lehua trees makes it a fun and easy walk for the entire family.
While on the trail, numbered placards point out the different plants and trees of interest. Fragrant palapalai, laua‘e and the hapu‘u (tree fern) ferns, as well as different varieties of wild ginger grow along the trail as well as an abundance of guava and other native fruits found in tropical forest.
Large, open, grassy areas welcome you to lounge or leisurely stroll along the majestic beauty of a Hawai‘i rain forest. If you sit quietly it is not uncommon for you to be able to hear the native birds chirping high up in the tree tops.
The large pavilion contains a barbecue pit that makes it a great location to hold a small party or family picnic. The long picnic tables provide ample room to sit and enjoy the day.
Be prepared for damp and chilly weather due to the park’s higher elevation, located at approximately 2,000 feet elevation.
The park is ADA accessible and services available at the park include restrooms, drinking water, cabins and camping areas. A permit is required to camp at the park.
You can obtain a more information here.
Whether you’re looking for a quick hike, somewhere to lay your blanket out on the grass or a place to lounge on your chair with binoculars to bird watch, Kalōpā State Park is the perfect quiet spot to do it.