Extreme Hiking / Hiking in Manuka Natural Trail, Manuka Forest Reserve, Hawaii USA

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In the North side of Kealakekua Bay, close to HI-11/ Hawaii Belt Rd, lies the monument of British explorer Captain Cook, who was killed in 1779. The road that leads to the monument is accessible by foot only.

Makuna State Park is located in the Mamalahoa highway, at the north of Hawaii’s Big Island. The park hosts a wide range of habitats. These include rare native plants and animals such as sub alpine shrubs and forests, kipuka forests and more. The recent lava flows add a variety of several vegetation types as well as lava tubes.

The Manuka Natural trail goes through the natural reserve, but starts from Manuka State Wayside. It is 2.33 mi/3.2 km long, about two hours hike to complete the loop, suitable for all skill levels with an elevation gain of 400 ft/122 m. When the day is clear, there is an amazing view of all the Big Island’s volcanoes.

Hikers walk through tropical forests with an abundance of plants and animals and cultural sites like the remains of Puukohola Heiau. Hikers should take with them a lot of water and snacks because there are picnic tables, where you can stop and admire nature. For accommodation, you can either stay in the main town of Kailua Kona, or in Ocean View village which is closer to the forest reserve.

How to Get to Destination

BY CAR FROM Kailua Kona
40.9mi/65.8km, 1hour and 10mins
Drive Southeast on HI-11/Hawaiian Belt Rd towards Henry Str, and continue straight on HI-11 for 41mi/66km.
BY CAR FROM Ocean View
5.3mi/8.3km, 7mins
Drive West on HI-11 towards Paradise Pkwy and continue straight for 5mi/8km.
Kona International Airport,
8.2miles/13.1km from Kailua Kona Town


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