Waianapanapa Coast Trail North is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hana, HI that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Starting from Waianapanapa State Park the trail follows a portion of the ancient Hawaiian Kings Highway from Pailoa Bay to Pakaulua Point. The path crosses Pailoa Black Sand Beach and parallels the volcanic coastline above the sea. Going north (left) from the sand beach, this section of the Kings Trail is called Kipapa O Kihapiilani Trail. The full trail is somewhat demanding and 2.75 miles round-trip. Noted sites on this portion of trail: Kapukaulua burial site, two black rock coves, a large lava tube, ruins, and Pukaulua Point which is the site of a heiau and burial mounds. Two small cobblestone beach pockets are revealed along the way. The original trail passed through the area that is now Hana Airport; as such, the trail ends abruptly at the airport security fence. To begin this trail, start at the North (far) end of the black sand beach, look for the trail, and continue to the black-stone cove just adjacent. At this point where to continue on the trail will become apparent. A bit further the trail will fork, the right fork soon takes you to the Kapukaulua burial site. Backtracking to take the left fork continues the trail. The trail continues on to a second cove. The cove itself is part of the trail, and the trail picks up toward the other side. Waianapanapa State Park: Remote, wild, low-cliffed volcanic coastline offering solitude and respite from urban life. Lodging, camping, picnicking, shore shing and hardy family hiking along an ancient Hawaiian coastal trail which leads to Hana. Excellent opportunity to view a seabird colony and anchialine pools. Other features include native hala forest, legendary cave, natural stone arch, sea stacks, blow holes and small black sand beach. Really good reference: http://mauiguidebook.com/camping/waianapanapa-state-park/
Love this park. Trails (paved walkways and stairs) are very very easy. The spring is fun to jump into but very cold. If you go into the back of the left cave in spring you use to be able to climb it (in the dark) and go through hole to surface. Fun but kinda sketchy.
Beautiful scenery! Easy trail with the right footwear. Go past the black sand beach and over the lava rocks for amazing views and less people!
Definitely take the hike beyond the black sand beach. The majority of tourists don't go beyond the beach and the views are wonderful. The bright green plants on the black rocks will make you feel like you are on the set of a 1970s sci fi tv program.
Beautiful state park with some very easy to find fresh water caves. If you have time to stop on the way back from Hana it's worth it, but not a must see.
Very quick hike to a set of fresh water caves. The trail is slick, but well maintained. This is a very popular attraction, but is not easily accessible for strollers and young ones, so the crowd is older and a little rowdy. One of the fresh water caves is a popular spot for diving into the water.
From Pailoa Black Sand Beach (and really cool caves) at Waianapanapa State Park you follow a portion of the ancient Hawaiian Kings Highway from Pailoa Bay to Pakaulua Point. The trail goes along the shoreline to the left of the beach, and was in need of trail maintenance when we went. The trail ascends black lava formations to the Point. The scenery is unreal and the breezes are great. Watch out for woody underbrush and be careful along the sharp lava. My shoelace got caught in a bush and I tripped against the lava - result hematoma and cut on my shin... cleaned and cooled off in the healing waves of the black sand beach - this is an awesome place!