If you are into Hawaiian history and hiking, Lapakahi State Historical Park is a must visit location. Located on the norther portion of the Big Island of Hawaii this is a great place to stop and tour on your way to or from Pololu Valley. It was ancient Hawaiian Village and many of the remains are still there today. It is one of the better managed historical sites on the Big Island of Hawaii. At the parking lot you will get a map with over 20 locations to stop at as your hike around the park. While there is plenty to see, it all can be done within a 1 mile walk.
There is one small location designated for swimming. While swimming is available it is not recommended to swim there. The location is more meant to learn about Hawaiian history.
Along the trail you will see the following things amongst other things.
1- Burial site- there is a large rock filled platform that was used for burials.
2- Hale (house)- this space was used as a house in the late 1800s, but is now a burial site.
3- Halau Waa- a thatched roof enclosure that was used to store canoes. The canoe landing is nearby this location.
4- Historic hale- this reconstructed home from the early 1900s was rebuilt and is maid with bamboo frame and pili grass thatching.
5- Ku’ula- whether the local fisherman had a big or small catch they would give a portion to the fishing god, which lived in a stone. You will find the stone still there.
6- Well- an ancient well that was used to provide a dependable water supply. Many believe in the late 1800s it ran dry, which is a reason many believe people may have left the village.
7- Salt making- this is an area where people would pour sea water into a hollowed out stone. As the water evaporated it would leave salt crystals on the rocks. The salt could then be used to preserve fish and other food.
8- Hale- you will find some stacked rock walls that are remnants of a large residential complex.
9- Papamu- here you will find an ancient game board that is similar to our present day checkers.
10- Fishing site- the fishermen launched their canoes at Koai’e Cove. You can still see where they built to give access.
11- Mua (family heiau)- this is where families would go to pray.
12- There is a bluff that fishermen would go to to watch the changes of the ocean to help them with fishing.
13- Rock shelter- there are some remains of a rock shelter where people would go to for protection from high winds.
There are several other things to see, but these are some of the items you will see along the trail.
This is a very important area of Hawaiian history so please respect the area and do not touch the rocks and stay on the trails. There will be signs throughout reminding you of this. The waters off of this park are part of a marine conservation life district so there is no fishing allowed within the waters off of the park.
If you are looking for a place to stay while on the Big Island of Hawaii, Ainamalu at Waikoloa Beach Resort is located about a 30 minute drive from Lapakahi State Historical Park and offers nice private 3 bedroom homes.