Hawaii Outdoor Recreation Guide: detailed descriptions on 5507 things to do!
This island is known as 'The Big Island,' due to its size, which is nearly double that of the others in the archipelago combined. Hawaii has a plethora of natural areas including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Ahukini Rec Pier
Akaka Falls
Big Island
Hakalau Forest Wildlife Refuge
Hapuna Beach Rec Area
Hawaii Volcanoes
Kaloko-Honokohau Historical
Kalopa Rec Area
Kealakekua Bay Historical
Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast)
Kohala Historical Sites Monument
Lapakahi Historical
Lava Tree Monument
MacKenzie Rec Area
Manuka Wayside
Mauna Kea Rec Area
Old Kona Airport Rec Area
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Historical
Pu'ukohola Heiau Historic Site
Wailoa River Rec Area
Wailuku River

Detailed Descriptions

Ahukini Pier
Hanalei Wildlife Refuge
Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge
Na Pali Coast
Russian Fort Elizabeth Historical
Wailua River
Waimea Canyon
Waimea Pier
Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau Monument
Iao Valley
Kaumahina Wayside
Kealia Pond Wildlife Refuge
Polipoli Spring
Pua'a Ka'a Wayside
Wailua Valley Wayside
Kakahaia Wildlife Refuge
Kalaupapa Historic
Aiea Bay
Diamond Head Monument
Hanauma Bay Underwater Park
Iolani Palace Monument
James C. Campbell National Wildlife Refuge
Ka'ena Point
Kahana Valley
Kaka'ako Waterfront
Keaiwa Heiau Area
Kewalo Basin
Kukaniloko Birthstones Monument
La'ie Point Wayside
Makapu'u Point Wayside
Nu'uanu Pali Wayside
Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
Pu'u Mahuka Heiau Monument
Pu'u Ualaka'a Wayside
Royal Mausoleum Monument
Sacred Falls
Sand Island
Ulupo Heiau Monument
USS Arizona Memorial
Wa'ahila Ridge
Wahiawa Freshwater
volcano erupting

Description - The Big Island encompasses over 4,000 square miles, including two active volcanoes that continuously add to the acreage. Hawaii is the youngest island and southernmost in the state. The terrain is diverse and elevations range from sea level beaches to the summit of Mauna Kea at 13,796 feet.

The western and leeward side supports the most attractive sites for tourists and water sports. South Kona is the southwestern region. The area is mainly rural and teeming with Hawaiian historical sites. Coffee is grown in the higher elevations of the region that lie somewhat inland. Many beach parks lie along the coast of this region preserving beaches, bays and inlets for recreational use. The Islands of Maui, Molokai, O'ahu and Kauai are all just to the North.

The tourism center lies on the central leeward side along the Kona coast. The largest community on the Kona coast is Kailua, which lies on Kailua Bay. Several fishing and large Pacific marlin catches.

Akaka Falls encompasses 66 acres of land on the windward. The site contains a well-maintained, paved loop trail, one half mile in length. The trail leads through tropical rain forest passing two beautiful waterfalls, the tallest of which is over 400 feet. This point is rich in scenic beauty, that lends itself well to photography. The lush terrain also provides excellent opportunities for plant identification. A paved walking path leads visitors to the waterfalls, A wonderful spot for hiking.

In Big Island the natural and cultural wonders of the state parks abound. The sites preserve waterfalls, beaches, native plants, historic trails, religious sites and many other natural and man-made features. The state parks commission maintains 14 properties that lie in all regions.

Hakalau Forest Wildlife Refugeconsists of the 33,000-acre Hakalau Forest and the 5,300-acre Kona Forest on the Big Island (Island of Hawaii). The Hakalau district of the refuge was established in 1985 to conserve endangered forest birds and their rain forest habitat. Eight endangered bird species, an endangered bat and nine endangered plant species exist in this district.

Lava Tree Monument preserves the site where a lava flow burned through an ohia forest in 1790. The lava, flowing quickly from Kilauea's east rift zone, surrounded the trees and cooled forming molds of the burned tree trunks. Picnicking facilities, bathrooms and a hiking trail are maintained at this site, but drinking water is not available. A hiking trail leads through and around 17 acres of the preserved forest.

At Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast) is comprised of two areas: Mahai'ula and Kua Bay. The Mahai'ula area is more developed with a sandy beach and dunes, picnic area and restrooms. A four and a half mile trail leads to the Kua Bay portion, which contains a tall cinder cone, water access and excellent views of the coast.

Hawaii Volcanoes and the Kau region lie west of Puna on the southern coast. The park contains amazingly diverse terrain, including two active volcanoes, tropical beaches, subalpine tundra and rain forests. This place shouldn't be missed by anyone who visits the island even if a few hours is all the time that can be spent here.

Recreation - Most of the water-oriented recreation sites lie on the leeward (Kona) coast. The region's extensive reef system supports a myriad of diving sites. Snorkeling and swimming are popular pursuits in protected bays when waters are calm. Conditions for windsurfing, board surfing and body surfing often are better during the summer when under currents are not as strong. Hiking, backpacking, biking, scenic driving and camping opportunities can be found in all regions of the island.

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