Story:Wai‘ānapanapa State Park
Unforgettable. Located just off the Hāna Highway,
Wai´ ānapanapa State Park is famous its rocky lava coastline, offshore islets, and Pailoa Bay with its black sand beach. Crashing waves have sculpted this scenic shoreline of steep cliffs with sea arches and blow holes. A native hala forest covers much of the land behind this volcanic shoreline.
Wai‘ānapanapa was settled over 700 years ago with numerous settlements along the Hāna coastline. These settlements were connected by a coastal trail known as the Kihapi‘ilani Trail and named for a famous Maui ali‘i (chief). The stacked rock walls and walled cemeteries in the park are part of Honokalani Village from the early 1900s. Please do not disturb these important historic sites.
But there is much, much more to see and do. This 122-acre state park also offers natural features such as a native hala forest, natural stone arch and lava tubes as well as freshwater caves and seabird colonies. Wai´ ānapanapa means “glistening fresh water” in the Hawaiian language referring to nearby fresh water streams and sparkling pools.
As you walk the paved path within the 122-acre park, you may see nai‘a (dolphins), kohola (whales), and honu (green sea turtles) swimming offshore. Look for the native ua‘u (Hawaiian petrel) and ‘a‘o (Newell’s shearwater) flying around and nesting on the islets. Be sure to visit Pailoa Bay but always use caution when entering the ocean. You are asked to respect this special place and not remove any of the black sand from the beach.
Experience the natural beauty and history of this coastline by hiking a portion of the historic coastal trail found in the park. Other recreational opportunities include picnicking and swimming with overnight stays available at the cabins and campgrounds.
One last thing—reservations are required for park entry, camping, and cabin rentals.