Hike, Explore, & Protect Kahuku this Spring
Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018
Hawaii National Park, HI - Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Kahuku Unit by offering free programs to introduce visitors and residents to the park's southernmost section, April through June 2013.
For all activities below, enter Kahuku on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, and a snack are recommended. No advance registration is required for most events, except for the Ka'ū 'Ohana Day, where registration is required.
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. Learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped, and restored this land. The guided hike is offered Apr. 14, Apr. 21, May 5, May 19, June 2, June 8 and June 29, from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m.
Palm Trail is a relatively easy 2.6 mile loop traversing scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered Apr. 20, Apr. 28, May 26, June 15, and June 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
NEW! Mauna Loa Southwest Rift Zone. Take a short, guided hike to an overlook located on the Upper Palm Trail. From the overlook, park rangers will orient visitors to numerous prominent geologic features of the many eruptions of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the fascinating natural processes that create these features and the cultural traditions associated with them. Pack a lunch to enjoy during the program. The new Mauna Loa Southwest Rift Zone program is offered Apr. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Ka'ū 'Ohana Day. Keiki of all ages are invited to join park rangers and explore Palm Trail by GPS and compass in the park's southernmost section of Kahuku. At least one adult family member or adult group leader must accompany the children. Enjoy a free lunch, and participate in cultural craft demonstrations. Bring a refillable water bottle and sturdy hiking shoes. The event is free, but registration is required, call (808) 985-6019. Offered Sat., May 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunch with a Ranger on Father's Day. Bring a bag lunch and join a park ranger on June 16, Father's Day, from 10:30 a.m.to 12:30 p.m. Over lunch, a ranger will guide an open discussion on park resources ranging from significant geological events and features of Mauna Loa, and the natural and cultural history of the Kahuku Unit.
Did You Know?
`A`ali`i (Dodonaea viscosa) is an important shrub with many traditional Hawaiian uses. Its hard and durable wood makes a fine spear. Seed pods are fashioned into beautiful lei, while its red capsules can be boiled to make dye.