Maritime Heritage Program
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Maritime-Related National Parks in Hawaii
- Established in 2000 for the preservation, protection, and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail is a 175-mile corridor and trail network of cultural and historical significance. It traverses through hundreds of ancient Hawaiian settlement sites and over 200 ahupua'a (traditional sea to mountain land divisions).
- This special place vibrates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The park also cares for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else. Come visit this special place—renew your spirit amid stark volcanic landscapes and sub-tropical rain forest with an unforgettable hike through the backcountry
- Volcanoes are monuments to Earth's origin, evidence that its primordial forces are still at work. During a volcanic eruption, we are reminded that our planet is an ever-changing environment whose basic processes are beyond human control. As much as we have altered the face of the Earth to suit our needs, we can only stand in awe before the power of an eruption.
- When Hansen's disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Molokai. Since 1866, more than 8,000 people, mostly Hawaiians, have died at Kalaupapa. Once a prison, Kalaupapa is now refuge for the few remaining residents who are now cured, but were forced to live their lives in isolation.
- To survive in a hot and arid environment, the native Hawaiians (kānaka maoli) used ancient fishing skills, including the building of fishponds, and the knowledge of the location of precious fresh water (wai) that flows into the many brackish pools throughout the park. The spirit of the people (poe) and the knowledge of the elders (kupuna) created a tradition of respect and reverance for this area.
- Imagine you had just broken the sacred laws, the kapu, and the only punishment was death.?Your only chance of survival is to elude your pursuers and reach the Pu'uhonua, a place of refuge. The Pu`uhonua protected the kapu breaker, defeated warriors, as well as civilians during the time of battle.?No harm could come to those who reached the boundaries of the place of refuge.
- How many places in America can you walk in the footsteps of a king? Where else has a stranded sailor risen up to become a great chief over an entire island? Where else can you experience the culminating event of a people, foretold from centuries past? And where else can you stand on a beach and watch as sharks pass over a submerged temple? Experience all this & much more only at Pu`ukoholā Heiau!
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (also in AK, CA)
- World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument preserves and interprets the stories of the Pacific War, including the events at Pearl Harbor, the internment of Japanese Americans, the battles in the Aleutian Islands, and the occupation of Japan.
Are you interested in other historic maritime resources in Hawaii? We have information about historic lighthouses and light stations.