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Monday
Dec192011

Take a Hike

Hiking, or walking, in Hawaii can be a wonderful, breathtaking experience.  There are hundreds of miles of trails, many of which will lead you to a hidden beach, a private waterfall, a beautiful valley and unforgettable views.  Lace up those hiking boots to explore the islands on the coastal trails.  Thanks to Frommers, here is a list of the Best Hawaiian Coastal Walks and Hikes.

Punaluu Coastal Trail, Big Island.  Starting on a popular black-sand beach, this trail will take you past World War II gun emplacements and a Hawaiian heiau, traveling for a quarter of a mile on smooth cobble set in place by ancient Hawaiian hands, following a jeep trail for a bit through dwarf kiawe trees leading you a secluded point with dramatic views.

Hana-Waianapanapa Coastal Trail, Maui.  You will enjoy coastal cliffs, stone arches, lava fields, black beaches, blowholes and ancient temples on this coastal route, just north of Hana. The trail follows portions of the ancient King's Highway from Waianapanapa State Park to Hana Bay.

Polihale Beach Trail, Kauai.  On this trail you will find yourself standing on the sweeping dunes of a vast, expansive beach, looking out into the wild surf.  You'll see miles of golden sand and rugged dunes.  In the shadows of the Na Pali cliffs, this 17 mile isolated beach is the state's longest, most serene and picturesque beach.  According to ancient Hawaiian mythology, Polihale was the gateway to the afterworld.

Hoapili & La Perouse Bay, Maui.  This is a walk through recent lava fields along the southern coastline, with picturesque coves, secluded beaches and high surf. Along the way, you'll see remnants of old Hawaiian foundations and heiau (religious sites), and have views of the inland foothills of Haleakala and the Pacific Ocean.

Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, Kauai.  You will enjoy rugged sea cliffs, secluded coves, dunes, tide-pools, sculpted lava formations, native plants and petroglyphs  along this ancient coastal route. The beach was site of a legendary battle during the 1300s.  This is a prime whale-watching in the winter, and is a favorite hangout for endangered monk seals.

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