February 18, 2018

Koai’a Tree Sanctuary in Kohala-November 21, 2015 -RSVP needed!

kona-from-kohala-lThe Kona Hiking Club will visit Koai’a Tree Sanctuary in Kohala on Saturday, November 21. The hike will be about 3 miles round trip, over hilly and uneven terrain. Part of the hike will be  a 3/4 mile nature trail and the rest an uphill/downhill walk in/along the stream bed.

150 years ago, instead of unending grassy pastures, a mesic (moist) forest blanketed the middle-elevation leeward slopes of Kohala Mountain. This unique koaiʻa-mamane-naio-ʻiliahi forest once covered more than 40,000 acres, and was home to one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Hawaiʻi. What do we have left of this massive forest? A few scattered native trees, and a little 13-acre plot of forest. Yup, that is it. The direct result of the impacts of humans and their domestic animals.

Since about 1960, that 13 acres has been fenced and protected as the Koaiʻa Tree Sanctuary, under the care of the State DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Itʻs all that we have left, and Kohala Watershed Project is doing their best to care for it, to mālama both the ancient trees and the new growth.

It’s important to clean your shoes prior to the hike to avoid bringing in invasive seeds/weeds.  A boot brush will be available before the hike.

There is very limited parking area near the trail area, carpooling is recommended. Carpoolers can meet at Lanihau Shopping Center near Buns in the Sun. Please park away from the businesses. While there is no charge for carpooling, anyone doing so is encouraged to chip in for gasoline. A hike leader will be at this location. Arrive by 7:15 and prepare to leave by 7:30 am.  This should get us to the trailhead near 5mm on Kohala Mtn Rd around 9:00 am.

The weather on the mountain is somewhat unpredictable, so be prepared for rain, although sunny weather is possible as well. Hikers should wear closed toed shoes, carry hiking sticks and bring at least two liters of water, snacks, and sunscreen.

For additional information, contact Kathleen Johnson at 557-9246.

PLEASE NOTE: All members are welcome to bring guests or pass on information about our hikes to other hikers. However, if you do so, PLEASE make sure that you direct them to the Kona Hiking Club website to review the hike announcement and description. We want to make sure that everyone is prepared for the specific hike we are doing that day, whether we’re facing mud, heat, cold, steep trails, rocky trails, high altitude, exceptionally long distances, etc. Mahalo for helping us keep everyone safe!


  1. Rose White says:

    Chris and I want to join you in Nov.. Please put us on the list.

  2. Takako Kasahara says:

    I would like to participate in this project.

  3. Angela Leslee says:

    I would love to join you for this hike please 🙂 Please add me to your list

  4. Steve Catsoulis says:

    I am officially RSVPEEING!

  5. Tom Delaney says:

    I would like to be added to the list for November 21. Mahalo

  6. Don & Rosie says:

    Please add Don & Rosie for Nov hike

  7. Takako Kasahara says:

    I would like to be added to the list for November 21.

  8. Pam Madden says:

    Michael and I would like to RSVP for the Nov 21st hike….. thanks! See you soon!

  9. Linda Olsen says:

    Two of us would like to join the Koai’a Hike on the 21st, We are friends with Rose & Chris White so hope there is room for us. Understand about the car pooling from Lanihua/Buns in the Sun.

    • Thanks.
      You both are officially added to the list. 🙂
      I will send you a separate email about the carpooling details.

  10. Pamela Kimbell says:

    just spoke with you , friends of Chris and Rose White coming from Hawi. Julie would be the second person, if you have room? Let us know where to meet you. Thank You, Pamela

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