Illegal Haiku Stairs swing will come down, but others exist across Oahu

Local News

On Wednesday, we told you how thrillseekers are now hiking Haiku Stairs, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven, for something more than just the spectacular view.

A makeshift swing atop the illegal stairs in Kaneohe has become an extremely dangerous attraction.

We don’t know when it was installed, but neighbors say it “makes sense.”

“For all hours of the day, during heavy rain like this, they were going up there, and I wondered, why are there so many trespassers on such a rainy day?” said Haiku Village resident Ken Rose.

Rose says the neighborhood counted 93 trespassing hikers over Memorial Day weekend, and 41 trespassers throughout the day Wednesday.

“I’m sure we miss a lot,” said Haiku Village resident Ray Cabrera. “A lot of them go down an alternate route.”

The Board of Water Supply says it plans to tear down the swing.

The utility told us Thursday that it’s hiring a contractor to take down both the swing and the existing poles used to install it in the next few weeks.

KHON2 has learned this isn’t the only swing installed along trails across Oahu.

Though none are as dangerous as the swing atop Haiku Stairs, other swings exist. For many hikers, it’s become a goal to find as many as they can.

But these swings are not authorized by the city or the state, and are considered a violation.

We reached out to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources to see if they know about them, and received this response:

Installing homemade swings or ropes (including zip lines) or treehouses are not authorized on state (forest or park) lands without a permit. The weight of people could harm a tree branch or cause it to break. When found or reported, these will be removed by staff. These may constitute a public safety hazard if the rope was to break, or someone fall, especially when located near a slope. Violations of this nature can also result in either or both civil and criminal penalties.

Hikers caught trespassing on Haiku Stairs could face fines of up to $1,000.

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