Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Spread out over 131 acres a short walk from downtown Hilo is Wailoa River State Recreation Area. The large park has walking trails, covered picnic benches and grills, rentable picnic pavilions, fishing with permit, the Wailoa Center arts and cultural building, several memorials, and an assortment of other features.

Initially developed as a buffer zone after a tsunami caused a significant amount of damage to the town in 1960, the state park is a large spacious area of grassy lawns around the river lake. While much of the lawn is unshaded, there are plenty of covered picnic areas, as well as large shade trees throughout the park.

Several memorials are set throughout the park grounds, including those memorializing those who participated in the the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and one more to Shinmachi Tsunami.

Interesting are the concrete arch bridges that cross the river. It's possible to follow a route around the river crossing several of them.

The park has public fishing areas, and boating in the river is permitted if fishing. There is also a boat tie up in the park.

Wailoa River State Recreation Area is open daily from 7am to 8pm.

There are multiple parking lots throughout the park, or boat parking if that's how you commute. Further information on renting picnic pavilions can be found here. Information on the current exhibitions in the Wailoa Center building can be found here.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Walking distance from downtown Hilo. Large area. You can boat in if you'd like!


ADA accessible
Rental facilities
Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Covered picnic areas
Potable water
Boat ramp(s)



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