New Interpretive Hikes Enhance Your Visit To Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hikers enjoy the People and Land of Kahuku trek. NPS photo.

Two hiking programs being offered this summer at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park will introduce you to a captivating landscape, biodiversity and history of the park's southernmost section.

People and Land of Kahuku is a 2-mile, 3-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. Join this adventure and you'll 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 Hawai'i 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.

Kīpuka'akihi is a challenging 1.5 mile, five-hour adventure to see some of the rare plants and wildlife that inhabit this treasured kīpuka. 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 kāhili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kīpuka. Due to the fragile nature of the region, the program is limited to 15 people and pre-registration is required. To sign up, call (808) 985-6011.

This expedition into Kahuku's isolated refuge of rare plants is offered May 26, June 17, July 28 and Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 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.