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Second Annual New Year’s Sunrise Hike and Oli at Makapuu

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) invites the public to the second annual New Year’s Day hike on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2013, along the scenic Makapuu lighthouse trail at the Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline, located in East Oahu.

The Makapuu trail is an old and paved lighthouse management road that leads to the summit of Makapuu ridge. On this day only, Division of State Parks staff will open the gate along Kalanianaole highway for vehicle parking in the trail parking lot at 5:30 a.m. (parking is first-come, first-served).

Photo by Kelvin Lu

Photo by Kelvin Lu

Last year the parking lot was full by 5:45 a.m., with the balance of cars parking along the highway. Approximately 500 people attended last year’s event and enjoyed a spectacular sunrise. Curt Cottrell, assistant State Parks administrator, will once again go to bed early on New Year’s Eve in order to open the gate early for parking and then be at the top to also see the sunrise. Everyone is invited to gather at the trail’s end and along the side on Makapuu ridge to watch the sun rise at 7:09 a.m. As the sun comes up on the horizon between sea and sky, like last year a chanter will offer a traditional Hawaiian oli to greet the first sunrise of the 2013.

The morning hike is just one of about 550 “First Day” hikes being observed in all U.S. states, an initiative of the America’s State Parks organization to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage year-round recreation at state parks. For more information go to www.americasstateparks.org.

Due to the lack of comfort stations at this location, Division of State Parks is providing a modest amount of portable toilets for the event. The 1.5-mile round trip on the access road is considered of moderate difficulty and suited for children of any age (strollers are welcome). Pets must remain on leash at all times and any droppings removed by owner and properly disposed of. Bring windbreakers, supportive shoes, warm beverages and cameras! Pack out all of your rubbish.

For more information about the First Day – Makapuu Lighthouse Trail hike, call the Division of State Parks at 587-0300.


Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Introduces Two New Programs

Two adventurous programs offered by Hawai‘i 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, Photo by NPS

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 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.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Opening New Hiking Trail

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is opening a new hiking trail in the Park’s Kahuku Unit on Sat. Oct. 8, 2011 with a celebration at the trailhead at 10:00AM followed by a ranger guided hike with Ranger John Stallman. A second ranger guided hike will lead by Ranger Dean Gallagher at 11:00AM.

The Palm trail is a 2.6 mile loop traversing through scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Along the way are relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures.

The Kahuku Unit is open weekends from 9:00AM – 3:00 PM except the first Saturday of each month. The entrance is on the mauka (upslope) side of Highway 11 between mile markers 70 and 71. The Palm trailhead is two miles up the unpaved main road.

Kahuku can be hot and dry or cool and rainy. Bring sunscreen, rain gear, good walking shoes for the moderate hike, water and snacks. Please leave your animals at home for this event. Pets are not allowed above the airstrip and may not be left inside vehicles. Palm trail head can be reached by 2 wheel drive vehicles; however, 4 wheel drive is recommended for the road beyond the trail head.