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Hike, Explore, Protect Kahuku

Kīpuka'akihi looking down
Kīpukaʻakihi
NPS Photo

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Date: January 27, 2012
Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018

Hawaii National Park, HI - Two adventurous programs offered by Hawaiʻi 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 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 Feb. 12, Feb. 18, Mar. 11, Mar. 25, Apr. 15 and Apr. 28, 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 Feb. 26, Mar. 18 and Apr. 21, 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.

Did You Know?

The Kamehameha Butterfly is orange and black, with white spots.

Only two butterflies found in Hawai`i are native. The Kamehameha Butterfly (Vanessa tameamea) is Hawai`i's state insect, brightly colored, and larger than the Blackburn's blue (Udara blackburni).