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Top 5 favorite Big Island scenic hiking trails: HAWAII Magazine facebook poll results


No. 4


The mineral olivine, found in a volcanic cinder cone at the Big Island’s southernmost point, is responsible for the green sand at Papakolea Beach. It’s one of only two green-sand beaches in the world. (The other is in the Galapagos Islands.) The beach is located near a 710-acre peninsula call Ka Lae (“the point,” in Hawaiian). Known among locals as “South Point,” the peninsula is the southernmost tip of the United States. (The first land due south is 7,000 miles away, in Antarctica.) The hike to the beach is about 2.5 miles (one way). Most hikers park in South Point, at South at the end of a single-lane road where the pavement ends and a rough trail begins.  From here, the trek is limited to hikers and four-wheel drive vehicles. The intersecting ocean currents that make the area’s offshore waters dangerous for nearly all ocean activities make it one of the state’s best, if most remote, places for shoreline fishing.

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