Two Popular Hawai‘i State Parks Reopen Following 2018 Flood

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Jun 17, 2019

Nature lovers visiting Hawai‘i can now visit Kalalau Trail’s scenic 11 miles in Hāʻena State Park and Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, both of which were reopened today (June 17) on the island of Kaua‘i, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announced.

The renewed access comes after both parks were closed in April 2018 following severe flooding on the north shore of Kaua‘i. Hā‘ena is described as an ancestral home that is “rich with actively tended lo‘i and an ancient hula complex, natural habitats [and] ocean recreation” in the 2018 Hā‘ena State Park Master Plan.

Significant changes have been implemented to preserve Hāʻena’s natural and cultural environments. For one, the average number of people permitted in the park each day during peak hours will drop from a reported 3,000 to 900. And visitors who aren’t Hawaiʻi residents will now be required to make online reservations.

In addition to ongoing restoration projects designed in part to encourage the local community to return to the parks, DLNR officials say they will direct attention the ancestral burial land in the sand dunes between Hā‘ena Point and Kē‘ē Beach, so that people can better care “for the ancestors whose bones lay interred in the sand dunes.”