KAHULUI — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) invites the public to participate in “E Ho‘ola I Na Ala Hele” (long live the trails) day, a volunteer recognition ceremony and trail celebration day at Wai‘anapanapa State Park in east Maui, on Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“E Ho‘ola I Na Ala Hele” is jointly sponsored by DLNR’s Division of State Parks and Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, and hosted by Lani Kawaiena. It will feature Hawaiian oli and hula, trail work and interpretive hikes. It is being held to recognize the historic and cultural significance of the existing segments of the ancient Hawaiian trail that runs through Wai‘anapanapa State Park and beyond.
“We want to thank the many community volunteers, and especially the Hoopai and Perry families who have for years helped to care for this treasured section of the ‘King’s trail’ on Maui,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
Hawaiian musician and chanter Melody Cosma, a Hana resident and member of a family that takes care of the area, will do the opening blessing.
Known as Kipapa o Kihapi‘ilani (the pavement of Kihapi‘ilani), construction of the coastal trail is attributed to Kihapi‘ilani, the ali‘i nui of Maui in the early 1600s. Today a three mile section remains, which is managed by DLNR’s Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program (Na Ala Hele). About half a mile of trail is located within Wai‘anapanapa State Park, with two miles continuing toward Hana town and 1 mile toward Hana airport.
It runs along the coast through naupaka, lauhala, some native grasses and sedges, and coconut trees.
Wai‘anapanapa State Park is located at the end of Wai‘anapanapa Road off Hana Highway (Highway 360), 52.8 miles east of Kahului Airport.
The park covers 122 acres and features a remote, wild, low-cliffed volcanic coastline offering solitude and respite from urban life. The park includes lodging, camping, picnicking, shore fishing and hardy family hiking along the still remaining Hawaiian coastal trail. Visitors can view a seabird colony and anchialine pools.
Other features include native hala forest, the legendary cave of Ka‘akea which runs red on the night of Ku (now known to be due to the presence of small red shrimp), heiau (place of worship), a natural stone arch, sea stacks, blow holes and a small black sand beach.
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For more information, contact:
DLNR Public Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320
additional historical background sheet on the ancient trail is attached: NA ALA HELE HAWAII TRAIL AND ACCESS SYSTEM.pdf