There is no better way to enjoy the natural beauty and magnificence of Hawaii than to hike the many trails that are in the Hawaii State Parks system. Designed to offer visitors a firsthand experience with the flora and fauna that are specific to the Hawaiian Islands, the miles of hiking trails provide a great way to explore these beautiful islands without all the touristy distractions.
Planning Your Hike
Each island has its own trail system. They are broken down into difficulty level, type of trail, terrain encountered and the length of the trail. By reviewing this data, you can get a better understanding of what trails are available and which ones are the most appropriate for your needs.
Once you have chosen and island that you want to start with, determine how long you want to spend on your hike. The mileage of each trail is clearly marked, allowing you to make an informed decision as to which trail you would like to hike. While the actual time you spend depends on your pace, you will be able to get a good idea of how long each trail will take by looking at the mileage.
Another option to consider is the terrain of the trail. Since Hawaii has such a diverse landscape, there are many options to consider for each trail. There are trails that will take you along the rim of volcanoes and along the beautiful beaches. Every trail is clearly marked with the terrain and the difficulty level. Be sure to honestly assess your ability when determining what type of terrain you want to hike.
While most trails are marked for pedestrians, some trails were designed for mountain bikes and horseback riding. If you wish to experience the trails on either horse or bike, be sure to thoroughly research which trails on each island offer these options.
As with any activity, there are safety procedures that should be followed to ensure a fun and secure experience on the trails. Before departing, be sure that someone else is aware of your hiking plans and when you intend to return. In the event of an emergency, this will ensure that rescuers have the most accurate information as to where you can be located.
Never hike alone. It is always much safer in greater numbers. Take at least one other person with you. If you were to get hurt, the other person can summon help. You also are less likely to be attacked if you are in a group or with another person.
Before leaving for your hiking adventure, check the weather forecast. Since the Hawaiian Islands are tropical, rain is likely on a daily basis. Some hiking areas are prone to flash flooding and can become very dangerous. Also dress appropriately. You will want to dress in layers that help to protect your skin from the sun. Hiking boots will not only give you the necessary traction, they will also help protect you from ankle injuries.
Hiking the trails of Hawaii's state parks is a great way to explore this fascinating group of islands. With the proper preparation, your hike through the beautiful landscape can prove to be the most memorable part of your Hawaiian vacation.