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


No. 3


Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is crisscrossed with more than 150 miles of hiking trails, which range in difficulty from easy walks like Kipukapuaulu (Bird Park) to wilderness areas recommended only to hikers in top physical condition. The 20-minute walk through a thick fern forest to Thurston Lava Tube is among the easy-breezy hikes. It leads to a cave-like tunnel — a 500-foot-long lava tube that once carried fast-moving molten lava. Several hundred years ago, a large eruption near the summit of Kilauea volcano created the lava tube. (Lava now streaming from Puu Oo crater to the ocean winds through lava tubes much like this one.) Lorrin Thurston, a local newspaper publisher, reportedly discovered Thurston Lava Tube in 1913. The lava tube also has a Hawaiian name, Na Huku, which refers to the protuberances on the tube walls. A collapse in the tube’s roof serves as an exit back into the forest.

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