Hike and Explore the Park's Kahuku Unit in Kaʻu
Contact: Jessica Ferracane, (808) 985-6018
Hawaiʻi National Park, HI - Two adventurous programs offered by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park will introduce the compelling landscape, biodiversity and history of the park's southernmost section to intrepid hikers.
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 Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park plans to restore the native ecosystem and protect Kahuku's cultural sites.
The hike is offered Oct. 22, Nov. 13, Nov. 19, Dec. 4 and Dec. 10, 2011, and Jan. 15 and Jan. 22, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet near the Kahuku Unit 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.
Kīpukaʻakihi is a challenging 1.5 mile, five-hour adventure to see some of the rare plants and wildlife that inhabit this treasured kipuka. 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. There will be opportunities to help protect this rainforest by pulling up invasive kahili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kipuka. 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 this Sunday, Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Dec. 17, 2011 and Jan. 29, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet near the Kahuku Unit 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.
Did You Know?
`Ohelo (Vaccinium reticulatum) is a relative of blueberries and a favorite food of nene, the Hawaiian Goose. Its berries range from dark red to pale yellow when ripe and are sacred to Pele, the volcano deity.