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Guided Hikes, Free Programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes Park

July 16, 2017, 11:01 AM HST (Updated July 16, 2017, 10:15 AM) · 3 Comments
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Photo courtesy of NPS.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) invites the public to enjoy free guided hikes, coffee talks and ‘Ike Hana No‘eau Hawaiian cultural programs in Kahuku from July through September 2017. Visitors are also welcome to explore Kahuku on their own on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Kahuku Unit of HVNP is accessible on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. For guided hikes and programs, meet near the parking area. Hikers are advised to wear sturdy footwear and bring water, raingear and sun protection as well as snacks. Entrance and program fees are free.

‘Ike Hana No‘eau Hawaiian (Experience the Skillful Work) Hawaiian cultural demonstrations happen at Kahuku on the third Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon. The upcoming dates are July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15. The demonstrations are free to attend.

Coffee Talks give residents an opportunity to get acquainted with their neighbors and the park during informal talks covering a wide variety of topics. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries will be available for purchase during the free event on July 28, August 25, and September 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Kahuku Hikes and Programs

Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail will be offered July 23, Aug 6. and Sept. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua: Learn about the vital role and many varieties of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, as well as the new disease that threatens them, Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. This program involves an easy, one-mile (or less) walk, and will be offered July 9, Aug. 13, and Sept.10 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku: Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Offered July 15, Aug. 5, and Sept. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The guided hike is offered July 16, Aug. 20 and Sept. 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Birth of Kahuku: Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku by traversing the vast 1868 lava flow and observing parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. This guided, easy-to-moderate hike is offered July 22, Aug. 12, and Sept. 9 and 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Nature & Culture: An Inseverable Relationship (He Pilina Wehena ‘Ole): Hike the Palm Trail and learn about native plants and their significance in Hawaiian culture. This moderate hike is about two miles and takes two hours. The Nature & Culture program is offered July 29, Aug. 27 and Sept. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hi‘iaka & Pele: Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses–sisters Pelehonuamea (Pele) and Hi‘iaka through epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku during an easy 1.7-mile walk. Offered July 30, Aug. 26, and Sept. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Pu‘u o Lokuana is a short 0.4-mile hike to the top of a grassy cinder cone, Pu‘u o Lokuana. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy an expansive view of lower Ka‘ū. This hike is offered Aug. 19 and Sept. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Keep up with Kahuku events and visit the calendar on the park website at https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/kahuku-hikes.htm. Download the Kahuku Site Bulletin https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/2013_11_05-Kahuku-Site-Bulletin.pdf.

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