Beach Walking Through History
I highly doubt most people equate a historic national park with relaxing strolls down the beach! If you are like me, musty old forts or near-collapsing buildings is what usually comes to mind when I think of “historic” parks. However, I’ve started to realize that many of our nation’s historic parks are actually great places to get in the “Great Outdoors”!
Many of the historic national parks in the Pacific Islands combine intriguing history with outdoor recreation. Being island parks, when you visit these places you are never too far from the beach. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Kona Coast of Hawai`i Island, for example, is just such a park.
Just a few miles north of the popular tourist destination of Kailua-Kona, the beaches at Kaloko-Honokohau are some of the most beautiful in the islands. But watch your step! Chances are you’ll have to avoid stepping on the many Hawaiian green sea turtles that haul up on the beach for a nap! Also, on most days you’ll find spinner dolphins frolicking just outside the entrance to the Honokohau Harbor. As the beach takes you to the `Aimakapa Fishpond, walk quietly and you may be able to observe rare endangered Hawaiian stilts or coots drifting in the ancient pond.
Side trails from the beach take you a relatively short distance to historic features, including petroglyphs and ancient house sites. Ancient lava flows and the towering Hualalai Volcano make a dramatic backdrop.
Be sure to take your camera (and plenty of sunscreen!) when you hit the beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park!