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Parks of Hawaii Island

 

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park may be the most popular visitor attraction in the state and a World Heritage Site, but Hawaii Island also features three more National Parks as well as beautiful state and county parks that offer everything from lava tree casts to peaceful beachside camping.

Hamakua Coast:

Kalopa State Recreation Area: Hike in the Kalopa State Recreation Area or horseback ride on a two-mile trail.

Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park: Midway along the Hamakua Coast, this is a great place to picnic, relax and explore tide pools.

Akaka Falls State Park
: A beautiful self-guided 0.4-mile loop trail to scenic points overlooking Kahuna Falls and the 442-foot Akaka Falls.

Hilo:

Wailuku River State Park: Home to Boiling Pots, a succession of bubbling pools fed by Peepee Falls, and the 80-foot Waianuenue (Rainbow Falls).

Wailoa River State Recreation Area: Surrounds the Waiakea Pond and stretches along the banks of the Wailoa River in Downtown Hilo. Home to the newest King Kamehameha Statue (the original is located in Kapaau in North Kohala).

Liliuokalani Gardens
: Authentic, Japanese garden park features an arching footbridge, teahouse, manicured pathways and reflecting lagoons.

Kau:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Established in 1916, this is the home of Nahuku (Thurston Lava Tube), Halemaumau Crater (home of Pele) and Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Manuka State Wayside: Part of the larger Manuka Natural Area Reserve, this is an excellent example of mid to lowland native mesic forest.

Kohala Coast and North Kohala:

Lapakahi State Historical Park: Take a self-guided tour and learn about early Hawaiian life by viewing partially restored remains of this ancient coastal settlement.

Puukohola National Historic Site: Home to the largest heiau in Hawaii built by King Kamehameha in his quest to unite the islands.

Kona:

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park
: A small monument  commemorates the spot where Captain James Cook, the first Westerner to discover the Hawaiian Islands, first set foot on Hawaii Island. Great area for kayaking and snorkeling.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park: A 1160-acre park established in 1978 for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian activities and culture.

Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park: This sacred place of refuge preserves Royal Grounds, heiau (temples) and other historic artifacts along the Kona Coast.
 
Kekaha Kai Beach Park (Kona Coast State Park): Located just a few miles north of the airport, features the white sands of Kekaha Kai Beach and the small crescent cove of Mahaiula Beach.

Laaloa Beach Park (White Sands Beach Park): Also known as Disappearing Sands and Magic Sands, this white sand beach is located on Alii Drive just south of Kailua-Kona. This small beach may disappear overnight due to tidal shifts or strong surf, but always returns.

Puna:

Ahalanui Park: Swimming in this volcano-warmed natural pond next to the ocean will definitely be one of your more unusual aquatic adventures in Hawaii—or anywhere.

Lava Street State Monument: This 0.7-mile loop trail meanders through a forest of lava trees.