A short detour off of the Hana Highway leads to Wai'ānapanapa State Park. With a wide variety of recreational uses, every visitor is sure to find something to do at this beautiful park.
One of the highlights is a 100-foot long black sand beach. This beach was formed when hot lava came into contact with the cool ocean water and shattered into many pieces. Over time, the constant erosion from waves hitting the beach have continued to fracture and smooth out the rocks into pebbles and sand. When the water is calm, this is a great place to swim. Otherwise it's a great place to sunbathe, watch the water and relax.
There are other volcanic features to explore at this park. A short trail leads to Wai'ānapanapa Caves. Be sure to read the interpretive sign at the start of the trail to learn about the gruesome Hawaiian legend of the caves. The caves, remnants of old lava tubes, are filled with ocean water and spring water. The freshwater floats on the seawater, and the water depth varies with the tides. Depending on when you arrive, the water may be suitable for swimming.
For a longer hike, venture out onto the King's Trail, which leads past a blowhole, a heiau, and tremendous ocean views. Some of the trail is poorly maintained and crosses lava fields, so be sure you've got the time and you're up for a challenge. There's also a campground with 12 cabins, and drive-up and tent camping is available. Camping is only allowed with a permit, which must be purchased ahead of time. The rugged shoreline here is an amazing spot to watch the sun rise, so if you can arrange to spend the night here you will not be disappointed.