Kohala Coast, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at Spencer Beach Park on Sunday, during a ceremony celebrating the state, county, federal, and community partnerships forged in the management of the 175 mile long Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
The Ala Kahakai Trail was officially designated in 2000, and it has been a long road to 2010, when the “M.O.U.” was finally reached. The partnership has all been laid out in a 168 page comprehensive management plan document.
The historic trail runs from Upolu Point in North Kohala, south along the western Kona shoreline, around South Point, ending on the eastern boundary of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The route encompasses a number of National Historic Parks, archaeological sites, and pivotal locations in the history of Hawaii, like the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great, the landing area of Captain Cook and first western contact, even spot of what many believe to be first landing of early Hawaiian ancestors at Ka Lae.
Now, the focus turns to the area between Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site and Anaehoomalu Bay, which will be the first section targeted for restoration and management. The 15 mile section is already a part of the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program. Within the next 15 years, the management plan hopes to include the 75 mile mile stretch between Puukohola and Hookena Beach in South Kona.
The management of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail includes the preservation of ancient trails, sacred sites and historic places, offering partnerships under the ahupuaa land concept, and creating a safe place to recreate and learn about the spiritual and cultural aspects of the treasured coastal resource.
ABOVE: The map above, courtesy the Ala Kahakai Comprehensive Management Plan, shows the path of the National Historic Trail in yellow. The section outlined in purple plots the segment that will be the focus of the first 15 years of the plan, from Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site to Hookena Beach.
LEFT: Another image courtesy the Ala Kahakai Comprehensive Management Plan, showing users of a fragment of the current trail system along the lava fields.