Waipi’o Valley Closed to Public May 22-25

In anticipation of large crowd gatherings combined with the lack of resources to enforce COVID-19 safe physical distancing practices, the Hawaii County Department of Public Works announces that public access to Waipi‘o Valley is closed 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25.

PC: Hawaii County Department of Public Works

The closure and safety measures are due to numerous visitors to the area not conforming to COVID-19 social distancing and exceeding crowd size restrictions. Special duty officers and Waipi‘o Valley Rangers will be on site at the top of the road leading into the valley to ensure valley access is restricted to local traffic only (residents, land owners and farmers). Local traffic will be allowed to pass through a single vehicle at a time. 

The public is reminded that according to the latest amendment to Mayor Kim’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 4, all County of Hawai‘i beach and shoreline parks, except Hakalau Beach Park and Kūhiō Kalaniana’ole Park, are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. subject to the following restrictions that seek to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

● No group shall exceed 10 people. 
● All persons using open beach and shoreline areas who are not part of the same household shall comply with state and county social distancing requirements. 
● All pavilions, playgrounds, sport courts and fields, indoor facilities, and similar areas where gatherings may occur in these beach parks shall remain closed. 

Valley tours are not authorized during this time. 

DPW apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call the Department of Public Works at 961-8321.

Man Wanted in Investigation of Terroristic Threatening

Hawaiʻi Island Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man wanted for a terroristic threatening investigation that occurred in Honokaa on Thursday, April 30, 2020.

At 4:30 p.m. (April 30), police responded to the Waipio Valley ranger station, where a 32-year-old female stated that while running on the Muliwai Trail on Waimanu Valley Ridge, a male party jumped out from behind of a tree, holding a knife with a 4-6 inch blade, with paracord wrapped around the handle. The male party then reached out as if to grab her, attempting to block her path. The female ran around and out of the male’s reach and continued running down the trail.

The male party is described as being approximately 5-feet-11-inches to 6-feet tall, 185-200 pounds, having short black hair, a beard and mustache, and hairy arms. He was last seen wearing black pants, a black shirt, and combat style boots.

Police are releasing a composite drawing and ask that anyone who may recognize the suspect or has any information about this incident to contact Officer Ellsworth Fontes at (808) 775-7533; or via email at ellsworth.fontes@hawaiicounty.gov or Sergeant Dean Uyetake at dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov. They may also call the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

DLNR Reopens Muliwai Trail and Waimanu Valley Campground After Waipio Valley Reopens

The Department of Land and Natural Resources yesterday reopened the Muliwai hiking trail on the far cliff side of Waipio Valley and its campground in the next valley, Waimanu, following the reopening of the Waipio valley access road yesterday by Hawaii County officials.

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That reopening followed an extended period of no new reported cases of dengue fever in Waipio residents. The zigzag climbing Muliwai trail and Waimanu Valley can only be accessed via the far slope of Waipio valley.

Hikers interested in obtaining permits to camp in remotve Waimanu valley may again reserve permits on the DLNR Wiki Permit website, effective today at https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/welcome.html or at the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife district office at 19 E. Kawili St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720.  Phone: (808) 974-4221.

As a precaution to prevent the spread of dengue fever on the island of Hawaii, access to the Waipio Valley Access Road and valley area was restricted to in mid-January 2016 to valley residents only until an 8-12 week period of no new cases being reported had passed.

For current information on dengue and preventing its spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.

New Waipi’o Kalo Festival Receives OHA Support

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a $5,000 ‘Ahahui Grant to support the Waipi‘o Kalo Festival being organized by the community-based Hā Ola O Waipi‘o organization.

Waipio Valley Taro FestivalThe inaugural event, planned for Saturday, June 4, 2016, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., will honor Waipi‘o, the multi-generational kalo farmers, musicians, cultural practitioners, families with genealogical ties, and those who perpetuate Hawaiian culture in the Valley. The event is free and open to all, offering numerous opportunities to learn about kalo, plus lei-making, lau hala and lau niu (coconut frond) weaving demonstrations, a Kalo Cookoff, wonderful entertainment, great food and a Taro Team Relay.

Through moʻolelo (stories), lessons and information, participants may come to understand how sacred and important Waipiʻo Valley and taro farming are within Hawaiian culture and history. The Festival is designed to encourage people of all ages to reconnect with the ʻāina, feel empowered to grow their own kalo and provide healthy food for their ʻohana.

In addition, Festival presenters will teach about different varieties of kalo and their nutritional value and health benefits, various farming styles, and how to kuʻi kalo (pound kalo). Other information booths will teach about healthy soil agro-forestry, the importance of water, and the history of Waipiʻo and the Hāmākua district.

Friends of the Future serves as the fiscal sponsor for projects of Hā Ola O Waipio Valley. Founded in 1991, Friends of the Future’s mission is to facilitate a vision of lokahi among the diverse peoples of Hawaiʻi, encouraging each person to contribute their deepest values, to create shared visions, and to continuously improve our communities.

For more information about the Kalo Festival, email HaolaoWaipioValley@gmail.com or follow Hā Ola on Facebook.

Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance Offers United Voice on Bishop Museums Announcement to Sell Its Waipi‘o Valley Lands

On January 8, 2016, Bishop Museum issued a public announcement they are moving forward with the sale of the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Capt. Cook and 537 acres of land in Waipi‘o Valley.

Green areas represent Bishop Museum Land.

Green areas represent Bishop Museum Land.

While the news has taken most of Hawai‘i by surprise, it is not the case for the Waipi‘o Valley community. Over the past 20 years, the Museum has periodically considered selling it’s Valley holdings, and there have been several proposals by State legislators for the state to purchase the lands, the most recent in 2014.

Since 2013, the Waipi‘o community has undergone major changes, with three of the most committed groups becoming more organized and actively seeking ways to work together collaboratively on matters that impact the Valley and surrounding communities.

In late 2015 the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association, the Waipi‘o Community Circle and Ha Ola o Waipi‘o Valley formed the Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance as a mechanism to reach general consensus and provide a unified voice when communicating with government officials, Bishop Museum and the general community.

Founded in 1989, the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association (WTFA) is the oldest active organization in Waipi‘o Valley. The Association is made up of generational taro farming families who lease the majority of Bishop Museum ’s lands in the Valley. WTFA represents the surviving edge of the Native Hawaiian culture in Waipi‘o Valley and serves as Bishop Museum ’s primary land managers and local community advisors.

Formed in 2000, at the request of 13 community members, the Waipi‘o Community Circle (the Circle), serves as a general community forum. The Waipi‘o Valley Information & Education Officer Program was created by the Circle, as were the five large interpretive signs at the rock wall near the pavilion. A small group of Circle volunteers provided general oversight of the Information & Education Officer program from 2007 until 2014 when the program moved to the Department of Parks & Recreation. This group also represents the efforts of Auntie Ku’ulei Badua who was responsible for initiating “Friends of the Waipi‘o Community Park ” (the former Rice/Thomas property, at the Waipi’o lookout).

Founded in 2014 Ha Ola o Waipi‘o Valley (Ha Ola) is a membership organization of Valley residents, farmers, cultural educators and practitioners, and Waipi‘o tour operators. The organization is guided by elected Officers with support from the County of Hawaii , the State of Hawaii , Kamehameha Schools and Friends of the Future. Ha Ola was formed to provide representation for Valley stakeholders who were not recognized in the State’s 2013 proposed Senate Bill to purchase Bishop Museum’s lands in Waipi‘o. Among Ha Ola’s current projects are River Maintenance in collaboration with WTFA, stewardship of Kamehameha Schools Valley beach parcels, eradication of Little Fire Ants in the Valley and a 2016 Kalo Festival.

The Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance, combines the strengths of all available community and advisory resources and is committed to protecting current lessees and ensuring the community has a lead voice in proactively engaging Bishop Museum in discussions about the future stewardship of its’ Waipi‘o Valley lands.

For more information about the Alliance contact:

Alliance Community Liaison: Jim Cain, Cell: 333-0457 kinglaulau@hotmail.com

Alliance Culture & Education Liaison: Ka‘iulani Pahio, Cell: 960-5272 kaiulani@kalo.org

Hawaii DLNR Closes Muliwai Trail and Waimanu Valley Campground After Waipio Valley Is Closed as Dengue Precaution

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has closed the Muliwai hiking trail on the far cliff side of Waipio Valley and its Waimanu Valley campground,  following the closure of Waipio valley access road on Wednesday to residents only by Hawaii County officials following confirmation of two cases of dengue in Waipio residents. Muliwai trail and Waimanu Valley can only be accessed via Waipio valley. Campers with existing permits will be contacted by DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife. No new permits will be issued until further notice.

Waimanu Valley

As a precaution to prevent the spread of dengue fever, the Waipio Valley Access Road and valley area was been closed to all traffic yesterday afternoon.  Access will be limited to valley residents only.  This restricted access will remain closed for 8-12 weeks after no new cases are diagnosed in the area by health officials.

Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 215 confirmed cases, 2 are recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.

Symptoms of dengue include a high fever, intense headache and joint pain, and rash on the arms. If you suspect you may have dengue, contact your health care provider and remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

For further information about the January 13, 2016 Waipio closure go to the Hawaii County Civil Defense website http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts

For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001. Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

Hawaii Civil Defense Confirms Dengue Fever Cases in Waipio Valley

I just got off the phone with Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Chief Darryl Oliveira and he confirmed that the reason Civil Defense has closed access to Waipio Valley to only residents is because there have been confirmed cases of Dengue Fever in residents that live in the valley.  Some residents are part time residents and others live there all the time. (UPDATE – 6 confirmed cases relating to the area of Waipio Valley)

Department of Health Vector Control workers will begin working in the valley to eradicate mosquitoes, however, the valley is a unique area that does have a high density population of the mosquitoes that can can transmit dengue fever.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) will be back on the island this month and will be working in the Ho’okena Beach Park, Miloli’i area and now possibly Waipio Valley.

The county has not opened any of the closed parks and they do not have any date set on when the parks may open.  Civil Defense is aware of the impact this will have upon the residents of the valley, the taro farmers in the valley and as well as the tour companies that frequent the valley.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Closes Off Waipio Valley to Residents Only

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Wednesday January 13th at 2:30PM.

As a precaution, the Waipio Valley Access Road and valley area has been closed to all traffic effective 2:30 today and access will be limited to valley residents only. This restricted access will remain until further notice.

Waipio Hike

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported 2 additional confirmed cases since yesterday. The total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak remains at 215. These cases include 195 residents and 20 visitors.

Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 215 confirmed cases, 2 are recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.

Symptoms of dengue include a high fever, intense headache and joint pain, and rash on the arms. If you suspect you may have dengue, contact your health care provider and remain indoors to prevent the possibility of being bitten and infecting mosquitoes.

The Department of Health is spraying and treating areas connected to confirmed cases to reduce mosquito populations. In addition, Civil Defense teams are inspecting areas of high mosquito presence reported by the community. If teams visit your home while you are away, they will leave a note – please follow the instructions on the note to contact the appropriate agency.

While these efforts lower risk by reducing mosquito populations, the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellant, and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest.

For additional information on dengue and preventing the spread, go to health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001. Everyone’s help and assistance with this outbreak is much needed and appreciated.

Taro Inspired Benefit Luncheon in Waipio Valley

Kalo (taro) is Hawaii’s most elemental food for body and soul. Inspired by kalo, The Feeding Leaf events and catering company (TFL) will present a five-course benefit luncheon for the nonprofit Pōhāhā I ka Lani, on Sunday, July 26 at 12 p.m. at the secluded Waipi‘o Tea House.

Taro Picture

Waipi’o Valley Kalo. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Diners will take a culinary “huaka‘i,” a journey that begins with Moloka‘i venison, ‘uala (purple sweet potato) and pa‘akai (Hawaiian salt), and travels through Kona for Kamana‘o Farm pumpkin and Living Aquaponics lettuce. Mauka-to-makai entreés feature whole roasted pig and ‘ōpelu, followed by a trio of poni (purple) desserts: Punalu‘u Taro Sweet Bread Pudding with Kalo Vanilla Bean Sauce, ‘Uala Custard Flan Tart and Koele Pālau (sweet potato pudding).

Each course will be paired with a different type of kalo, selected by Pōhāhā I ka Lani founder Kūlia Kauhi Tolentino-Potter, to complement the specific foods being served. For example ‘ōpelu kalo will accompany the whole roasted ‘ōpelu entree to enhance both flavors.

“What makes this event so special is absolutely the Valley, Waipi‘o itself,” said TFL President Tracey Apoliona. “We are bringing the guests right there, right to the source. And we are making and serving the kinds of Hawaiian foods that have ancient roots, in modern, elegant preparations. That is how the menu is, and we as a business are, aligned with Pōhāhā—honoring the kalo, from those rich roots up to the green leaves that grow in abundance, reaching higher and higher.”

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi.  Photo by Anna Pacheco

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Emceed by TFL’s new Director of Shared Services Paris DeCambra, lunch is accompanied by the Hawaiian music of Aliʻi Keanaʻaina, in the scenic setting of Waipiʻo Tea House, overlooking Hi‘ilawe falls. And, an exclusive silent auction will supplement fundraising efforts for future educational programs promoting stewardship, leadership and guidance.

Founded in 2009, Pōhāhā I ka Lani is a hands-on, place-based educational resource, dedicated to restoring and preserving indigenous Hawaiian culture. Numerous schools, clubs and community groups participate in their Kāhuli program, focused on traditional kalo farming and centuries-old food culture in the Napo‘opo‘o area of Waipi‘o Valley. http://www.pohahaikalani.com/

A limited number of tickets are available at $100 for this one-of-a-kind, alcohol-free food experience in Waipi‘o Valley. Price includes five course plated lunch, fresh brewed Māmaki and Ko‘oko‘olau teas, and shuttle transportation from Waipi‘o Shuttle Tour Company. To purchase tickets, please call 325-3803, or visit waipioteahouse.brownpapertickets.com.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

University Student Identified as Dead in Waipio Valley

Hawaii News Now has identified the hiker that was missing and was found dead in Waipio Valley over the weekend as 22-year-old Lindsey Nickerson.

Lindsey Nickerson recently posted this picture on her Facebook page.

Lindsey Nickerson recently posted this picture on her Facebook page.

The university student who died during a hike on the Big Island is being remembered by friends as a loving and compassionate woman. Lindsey Nickerson, 22, moved to Kailua-Kona to attend classes at the University of the Nations which is part of the Youth With A Mission network.

She became separated from the 24 other people in the group less than half an hour into the hike to Hiilawe Falls in Waipio Valley on Saturday, according to authorities. The popular trail crosses private property. Frustrated residents said that they constantly warn trespassers about the dangers. Search crews found Nickerson’s body in a river the next day.

More here: University Student Dies During Big Island Hike

Tourist From Florida Robbed in Waipio Valley

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an armed robbery in late May in the Hamakua area.
HPDBadgeAt approximately 3:30 p.m. on May 25, police responded to Waipio Valley after receiving a report from a 54-year-old Florida man that while walking up Waipio Valley Road, a dark Jeep Wrangler drove past him and stopped approximately 50 yards away. The suspect reportedly exited the vehicle, approached the victim, pointed a shotgun at him and demanded his backpack. The victim refused to give the man his backpack and instead handed over an undisclosed amount of cash.

The victim was not injured in the robbery.

The suspect is described as a local male, approximately 5-foot-7, 190 pounds with brown hair. He was wearing multi-colored shorts. He was last seen getting back into the Jeep and leaving the area in the mauka direction.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who may know the identity of the suspect to contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or duyetetake@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Dropped 911 Call Leads to Man Being Rescued From Waipio Valley

A man was rescued from Waipio Valley on the Big Island yesterday.

Me at the top of Waipio Valley

Me at the top of Waipio Valley

The following release is from the Hawaii Fire Department:

Situation found at scene:

Company 8 responded to Waipio Valley for a dropped 911 call. Upon arrival made contact with the caller who stated she noticed a person on the trail to Waimanu Valley using a flashlight to signal people on the beach. Rescue Company 2 dispatched. Company 8 personnel proceeded to the beach area and saw the person signaling approximately halfway up the trail.

Remarks:

Company 8 personnel proceeded on foot to attempt to reach hiker in trouble while Company 2 responded by air. Company 2 made contact with hiker, a 23 y/o male, and was able to rescue him using a Billy Pugh basket. Hiker without injuries upon evaluation by medical personnel.

Idaho Couple Who Was Found Safe… Mother Received Disturbing Mysterious Call in Middle of Night

According to AP Reports:

…Kevin Butler, 21, and Kimberly Linder, 18, contacted their parents Wednesday evening, hours after police asked for help locating them, Linder’s mother, Christine Cearley, told The Associated Press Thursday. 

Hawaii County police previously said both from McCall, Idaho, but Linder’s mother said she is from Oakdale, Calif.The couple had checked out of their Kona hotel on Friday and told their families they planned to a camp in a tent in a valley, part of a backpacking adventure exploring Hawaii’s Big Island.”Everything was great,” Cearley said. “Except that a couple of days ago, Kevin’s mom received a call in the middle of the night basically saying someone had her kid.  “Their families weren’t able to reach them and saw that Butler’s bank account was overdrawn, Cearley said, so they contacted police. When police began investigating, they told Cearley there was an unidentified body matching her daughter’s description.

Meanwhile, Linder’s relatives were making plans to travel to Hawaii to search for them. That’s when Cearley got a text message from Linder saying they were OK, followed by a phone call, saying they didn’t have any cellphone reception while camping in Waipio Valley and had no idea anyone was looking for them until they later retrieved frantic phone messages.”‘We came down from the mountain and our cellphones were blowing up,'” Cearley recalled her daughter saying.

People in the Honokaa area spotted the couple and notified police, who met with them and checked their identification.The couple doesn’t know anything about the disturbing call from a man’s voice using a blocked number, claiming to have Butler, Cearley said…

Full article here:  Big Island Campers Found Safe, Unaware of Search

Big Island Police Searching for Missing Man in Waipio Valley

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 62-year-old Honokaʻa man who was reported missing on Tuesday (May 14).

Kevin Devlin

Kevin Devlin

Kevin Devlin, also known as Shawn Devlin, was last seen on Monday (May 13) between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Waipio Valley, where he reportedly was going for a swim. He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-10, 160 pounds with short, thin white hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call Officer Dion Santiago at 775-7533 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

 

Word Was Out of Yet ANOTHER Cow Strike!

Dear Damon

Just happened while looking at zip line article to see your post on Highway 130…

Here is another service you could perform for Kohala area residents….or maybe its island wide…

My lady friend was on her way down from Waimea to the Kohala Hotels, in early November, via Kawaihai when she was suddenly confronted by a cow walking toward her on her side of the road… With traffic to her left going uphill and a ditch on her right she had no option but to hit the cow.

Luckily she had no passenger and the brunt of the impact was lessened by her low nosed Toyota 2001 Camry sort of scooping up the cow and tossing it off her passenger side, taking out her fender, windshield and rear view mirror on that side as it fell…

Poor cow and traumatized Lady Friend….

A strange scene ensued as police arrived as well as various ranchers who looked at the cow and disclaimed responsibility…word was out of yet ANOTHER cow strike…!!

Many people stopped to see that she was OK which she was, apart from shaken up.

What was interesting was the run around she got and information on OTHER cow strikes she accumulated during the ensuing weeks…although branded and numbered, the brand owner claimed to have sold THIS cow to another rancher who at first although a well known figure…refused responsibility…as evidence mounted this person eventually fessed up and agreed to have his insurance assess her vehicle…which is ongoing and may form another story in itself.

However she learned of MANY cow strikes and many people injured….one 24 year old killed just a week ago hitting a loose cow in the broader Kohala Mountain Road area on his new motorcycle…

I am sorry but fence technology has advanced since the 1800’s and it would appear that certain ranchers are not maintaining theirs leading to life threatening and taking encounters…

As we never see any news on these events and as there are a backlog of unsettled damages and injuries, perhaps a blog on this subject could bring pressure on land owners to be more responsible and on legislators to toughen laws and provide better relief for vehicle owners than the usually pathetic insurance settlements…

It was found by networking that a motorist had called in to 911 on that cow 10 minutes before my friend hit it but a major accident on Kohala Mountain Road had Police tied up…..this call also revealed that this specific land/cow owner has had other hits on his loose cows….there is a story of an Oahu Police Officer who on vacation here over a year ago hit a horse on Waipio Valley highway (Honokaa to Waipio) and has yet to receive any compensation…

Let me know what you think…

Aloha….Doug Arnott

Hawaii Forest & Trail Honored as 2010 Rotary Club of Kona Business of the Year

Media Release:

Hawaii Forest & Trail was honored as the Rotary Club of Kona 2010 Business of the Year at their recent monthly membership meeting and luncheon.

Cindy and Rob Pacheco Accept the 2010 Rotary Club of Kona Business of the Year Award

The Rotary Club of Kona has been honoring local businesses in the West Hawaii community with quarterly awards for several years. The Business of The Year award recognizes recipients for their outstanding commitment to the community. This year, the service club decided to move from quarterly awards to honoring one business that aligned with its own dedication to community service as a source for hard work and a better life in the community.

This was the ride that took us out to Waipio Valley

The 2010 Business of the Year Award honored Hawaii Forest & Trail for its commitment to environmental education, creating a healthy workplace and for e hoomaluo (conserve our natural resources), a program within the company designed to support and inspire the conservation of Hawaii’s natural resources through corporate giving, stewardship and sustainable business practices.

Travel Writer John Fischer (About.Com) and Deston Nokes (www.destonnokes.com) hike Waipio Valley while Becky Ryan from Irondog Communications (www.irondogpr.com) follows up the pack

“This is an exciting time for Hawaii Forest & Trail. We inspire guests everyday on our guided nature tours. Through this inspiration, we turn guests into stakeholders in Hawaii and Hawaii Forest & Trail,”said Hawaii Forest & Trail President and Founder Rob Pacheco. “As we inspire others to conserve Hawaii’s rich natural and cultural resources, a deeper experience emerges for our visitors and community.”

Our guide Rob Pacheco tells us about Waipio Valley and the history of the valley

Hawaii Forest & Trail has received several awards including 2009 Rand McNally Best of the Road Editor’s pick, Hot Blue 100 List, and was a recent recipient of the Ecotour Operator of the Year Award by the Hawaii Ecotourism Association.

I take in one of the many waterfalls along the Waipio Rim hike

About Hawaii Forest & Trail

Hawaii Forest & Trail was founded and is operated by Rob and Cindy Pacheco, who share their passion and knowledge of Hawaii’s natural beauty with visitors from all over the world. Hawaii Forest & Trail’s vision is to inspire the conservation of Hawaii’s natural resources. Most recently, Hawaii Forest & Trail Hawaii launched their new company-wide conservation initiative entitled e hoomaluo (conserve our natural resources). The program mission is to support and inspire the conservation of Hawaii’s natural resources through corporate giving, stewardship and sustainable business practices.

Waipio Valley… A Fly Over

I mentioned the other day that I got to go on a 3 hour custom helicopter tour with Howard Dicus, well I just noticed this other video that I took of it and it turned out pretty decent.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr9tYKbpCg8&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Be sure to turn in to the Sunrise Show this week on Hawaii News Now to see more footage with a professional camera!

The Best Hike I Have Ever Been On… Mahalo Hawaii Forest & Trail

As I mentioned earlier, today, I had the great pleasure to be part of an extraordinary group of individuals from the mainland that the Big Island Visitors Bureau has brought for a week of fun and adventure.

Today I got to join the pack on a Hiking Adventure Tour Around the Rim of Waipio Valley that was done by a Big Island Adventure company called Hawaii Forest & Trail.

We gathered at the Waimea Country Club this morning at 9:00.

Where tour guide Rob Pacheco met us promptly and gave us a brief run down of what was going to happen over the next few hours.

We all climbed into a Six-Wheeled PinzTrek and got ready for the ride of a lifetime.

I hung my head out the window risking getting my head getting chopped off to shoot the follow clip of us going down.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzul469_ED0&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]

After we got to our initial destination, we got out and Tour Guide Rob, gave us water and walking sticks and let us know a little more about what we were doing.

Our tour guide here explains one of the important traditions that one must do before crossing the sacred lands.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjBkWsI4psY&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]

And we were off

The first little waterfall and pool that we came across was beautiful

So we stopped there long enough to take pictures of everyone

And of course we had to have a group shot

We pressed on further as we new we were not at the rim of the valley yet.

We came across one of the first openings of the valley almost everyone was impressed vocally.  Unfortunately it was a bit VOGGY today.

As we walked along the rim of the valley there were lots of little scenic spots along the way.

One of the scarier parts of the hike, was when our tour guide offered us a peak directly over the cliff of a waterfall.  I was a bit chicken and was only able to take the following two pictures as my heart was racing as I knew how much of a drop it was.

We continued on and passed a few more waterfalls and stream beds

By this time we were getting hungry and it was just about the perfect time as we ended up at a clearing with some picnic tables and they brought out sandwiches, chips, cookies and sodas to eat.

We got back into the Pinztrek and headed to the final destination which was the lip of the valley.  Unfortunately as mother nature would have… it was a very Voggy Day and visibility wasn’t the greatest.

I lost track of the time, but I would say around 2:00 or so the tour ended and we were brought back to the country club the same way we were brought into the back of the valley.

This was truly the best hike I have ever taken and I’m stoked that I had the opportunity to join such a great group of folks from the mainland.

I’ll be naming them in some upcoming posts… I know that’s what everyone wants to know… is who are they.

You can click on the pictures below for even more pictures: