The state launched a new website Friday aimed at guiding hikers away from unsanctioned and sometimes illegal hiking trails.
The revamped Na Ala Hele Trail and Access Program website features new content, user-friendly features, and a mobile-responsive design.
The website is managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and includes detailed information on approved trail use activities, trail features, amenities, timely weather, safety and hazard warnings, and trail head directions via GPS.
“Some of our trail heads are in back of neighborhoods, on top of Tantalus. They’re very difficult to find,” said Aaron Lowe, Na Ala Hele’s acting program manager and project lead. “This feature really allows people the opportunity to get step-by-step directions to the trail head, so we’re really happy with this function.”
Users can also filter their searches to find trails that best suit their interests or needs, such as trails that feature waterfalls or streams, or trails that are open to horseback riders.
“All the trails you find on this site are open and maintained for public safety and enjoyment. That’s the place to go. We’re the one-stop shop,” said Lowe. “All other trails, with the exception of a few other state and city trails, are not improved, and therefore are most likely closed and/or dangerous. People need to know this.”
The Na Ala Hele staff is also working on collecting new photographs of trailhead signs, trail features, amenities, points of interest, and views to update the site. The program hired renowned Hawaii trail writer Stuart Ball to update trail descriptions statewide.