Thursday, July 07, 2022 |
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The Kahuku Unit of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is now open at 8 a.m., adding an additional hour to explore the trails and views on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
Kahuku will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. There are no entrance fees, and reservations are not required for ranger programs or special events.
“Opening earlier is nice because the early mornings are lovely with many native bird species singing at that time,” said spokesperson Jessica Ferracane. “The community in Ka’u also appreciates the unit and made it known that they wanted more access to the park.”
The unimproved portion of Kahuku Road above the cross fence will reopen to four-wheel drive vehicles, providing easier access to the Kona Trail and Glover Trail.
Hikers who venture past the cross fence must decontaminate their footwear to prevent the spread of Rapid Ohia Death. It is also recommended that drivers spray the tires of their vehicles.
Kahuku Road was closed to vehicles in 2016 due to the presence of the trees with Rapid Ohia Death. The trees have since been removed.
Vehicles will not be permitted to drive off the roadway or go past the Upper Glover Trailhead parking lot.
Kahuku will continue to be open four days a week due to funding and staffing.
Over time and with adequate funding for staff and infrastructure, the park will strive to expand access in Kahuku and hopefully be able to open seven days a week, according to Travis Heinrich, the Kahuku Unit manager.
Those interested in exploring Kahuku will experience native forests and birds, remnants of the 1868 Mauna Loa eruption, and the area’s eight trails.
The park plans to ask the public for feedback soon on allowing bicycles on the Kona Trail, which currently is open for hiking only.
The entrance to the unit is located in Ka’u on Highway 11 near mile-marker 70.5.
HVNP will continue to host events and ranger-led hikes at the Kahuku unit. More information can be found at nps.com/havo.
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