DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
National Trails Day Observance June 3, 2006
HONOLULU— The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) encourages residents and visitors alike to take to Hawaii's trails in celebration of National Trails Day (NTD), Saturday, June 3, 2006.
DLNR, in conjunction with the American Hiking Society and a host of other agencies is encouraging people to take a heart-healthy hike or volunteer to help maintain Hawaii's extensive system of coastal and mountain trails.
National Trails Day is the only nationwide trails celebration, bringing together thousands of outdoor enthusiasts to participate in assorted trail dedications, trail work projects, and more on the first Saturday of June. The event is designed to raise awareness of local hiking trails, along with their many benefits and pleasures.
"Our trail system provides residents and visitors alike a way to explore the world around us," said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson. "Hiking is a wonderful, inexpensive way to experience fresh air, and have a close encounter with nature while exercising."
“We are truly blessed with majestic vistas and the trails to access these scenic areas.”
A few of the trails that are highly recommended by Na Ala Hele include the Lahaina Pali Trail on Maui which was built in the 1800s, the boardwalk in Alakai Swamp Trail on Kauai, the Kealia Trail and Access Road above Dillingham Airfield on Oahu where you can watch hang gliders, and the Lanai Hulopoe-Huawai Fishing Trail.
To commemorate National Trails Day, DLNR's Division of Forestry and Wildlife is hosting a hike on Kahakapao Loop Trail in Maui's Makawao Forest Reserve on June 3, 2006. People can contact Mark Peyton at (808) 873-3509 to register or for more information.
Trails provide little-known, yet very important, benefits to society:
-Access for search and rescue efforts
Information about the Hawaii's hiking trail network, along with important safe hiking tips, can be found on-line at the Na Ala Hele web site: www.hawaiitrails.org.
In Hawaii, the Na Ala Hele (“trails to go on”) Trails and Access Program is administered by DLNR through Chapter 198D of the Hawaii Revised Statues. Na Ala Hele Advisory Councils, comprised of trail user groups and constituents, have been established statewide to provide public input on implementing the program.
Na Ala Hele was established in 1988 in response to public concern about the loss of public access to certain trails and the threat to historic trails from development pressure. Since its inception, Na Ala Hele has become increasingly engaged in trail management and regulatory issues due to both public and commercial recreational activities and emerging legal issues.
In Hawaii, Na Ala Hele:
Na Ala Hele relies on a dedicated network of volunteers to help construct, restore and maintain trails and access roads. Interested parties can volunteer for service projects by calling their local Na Ala Hele county offices:
-Hawaii Island tele: 808 974-4217
# # #
For more information, contact:
TRAIL SAFETY GUIDELINES
-ALWAYS HIKE WITH A COMPANION!
-STAY ON MARKED TRAILS! Trails are designated for public use and well maintained by DLNR's Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) under the Na Ala Hele Trail and Access Program. Cliff climbing, especially at waterfalls, is dangerous and not recommended.
-If you are uncertain about the trail, turn around and return the way you came.
-Know the route and its potential hazards. Trail maps are available from DOFAW or on-line through the Na Ala Hele Trail Inventory Page. If you plan to hike an Oahu trail not shown on a Na Ala Hele map or have questions about a route, call Oahu: 973-9782.
-Always leash pets while hiking, especially on trails adjacent to hunting areas.
-Tell someone at home your planned route and return time.
-Wear/take proper hiking attire: footwear with treads to prevent slipping and appropriate rain gear or windbreaker.
-Take sun block and plenty of drinking water, and use them.
-Use common sense. For example, keep track of time and allow enough time to return before dark..
-If injured, stay on the trail. Do not take shortcuts.
-If you get lost and it's getting dark, wait for daylight. DO NOT HIKE AT NIGHT!
-To camp or collect plants in a state forest reserve, obtain proper permits from DOFAW, 587-0166. To camp in a state park, obtain a permit from the Division of State Parks, 587-0300. To camp on state-leased or private land in a forest reserve, first obtain permission from the lessee or landowner