Share:

Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds

Kalahuipua'a Historic Park

Big Island, Hawai'i

Start Exploring
Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds

Share:

Advertisement
  • The entrance to Kalahuipua'a Historic Park is in the Mauna Lani Resort off of Mauna Lani Drive.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • The Kalahuipua'a Trail is technically ADA accessible, though some of the dips and rises are quite steep. Bicycles are not allowed on the path.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Lava tubes along the path were popular shelters for native Hawaiians.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • The Mauna Lani Golf Club is visible in the distance from the trail.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Small indentations in the lava near the trail remain from grinding coral and rock into tools.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Snow blankets the summit of Mauna Kea (13,803 ft).- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • This cave was a home for groups of Hawaiians between 1500 and 1700 A.D. - Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • This cave was a home for groups of Hawaiians between 1500 and 1700 A.D. - Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • The Kalahuipua'a Fishponds are fed by freshwater springs and ocean water. - Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Lahuipua'a Fishpond.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • The trail through the fishponds is ADA accessible.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Lahuipua'a Fishpond.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Lahuipua'a Fishpond.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
  • Lahuipua'a Fishpond.- Kalahuipua'a Trail + Fishponds
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy stroll through a historic area. Near beach access. Free.
Cons: 
Surrounded by resort development. Exposed. Sharp lava.
Advertisement
Region:
Big Island, HI
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

When you are driving through the big resort and residential areas along the Kohala coast, it's easy to forget that tough and resourceful Hawaiians were able to carve out a home in such a difficult environment. The contrast between the verdant landscaping, roads, and structures that accompany these developments and the jagged lava that surrounds them couldn't be more stark. Kalahuipua'a Historic Park is a great example of this juxtaposition. It is an island of historic and cultural significance surrounded by a sea of development known as the Mauna Lani, which includes a hotel, several residential areas, a golf club, shops...you get the idea.

The Kalahuipua'a Trail is a narrow interpretive trail with small signs spaced out at intervals that point out interesting evidence of early habitation in the area. The highlight is a large cave that was inhabited off and on for 200 years between 1500 and 1700: Standing in this cave, it's easy to imagine different areas being used for different purposes, and a hole in the cave near the back even provides a bit of light and air circulation. 

Take the trail beyond the Kalahuipua'a Historic Park and you'll encounter the Kalahuipua'a Fishponds. These are fed by natural freshwater springs and sea water, creating a brackish environment that Hawaiians used to raise fish for harvesting. These ponds are still managed in the traditional fashion; fish enter through gates and swim down channels to the ponds, where a second set of gates are closed so the fish remain. This area includes several beautiful ponds, the largest of which is Lahuipua'a Fishpond. Stroll around and watch for leaping fish and birds on the hunt. A path even leads along the long retaining wall that forms the ocean-facing aspect of Lahuipua'a Fishpond. 

Approximately three-quarters of a mile from parking area you'll see all of the paths converge and end near Makaiwa Beach, a small pocket beach that is predominantly used by guests and residents of the resort. While there may not be a lot going on at this beach, it is a very protected area that is a good choice for families, and the walk to the beach through the Kalahuipua'a Historic Park and Kalahuipua'a Fishponds adds an interesting cultural aspect to the trip.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(27 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
1 Members
Who's Done It
6 Members
Submission by
Team
368 Adventures Explored
344 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info