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Top 5 favorite Hawaii hiking trails

A eucalyptus forest on the Waipio Valley Ridge trail. Photo: Derek Paiva

A trek through a crater once filled with molten lava. A hike to the summit of one of Hawaii’s most iconic natural landmarks. A couple of lush forests hikes ending at mountain-stream-fed waterfalls. And a multi-day hike along an otherwise virtually unreachable Kauai coastline.

We’ve counted the hundreds of answers submitted by HAWAII Magazine’s Facebook reader ohana when we asked them the poll question: “What’s your favorite Hawaii hiking trail?”

Faves you sent our way that DIDN’T make the final cut included popular hikes such as the Kaena Point, Makapuu Lighthouse and Koko Head trails on Oahu; hikes into Waipio and Pololu valleys on the Big Island; a half-dozen trails traversing the summit of Haleakala volcano on Maui; and several terrific hikes in the cloud-level forests of Kauai’s Kokee State Park.

If you’d like to join in on our next HAWAII Magazine Facebook Ohana Poll and vote along with our always-growing reader family, go to the HAWAII Magazine Facebook page and “like” us. In return you’ll be able to share your answers in all of our future “Hawaii favorite” poll questions as soon as we post them, know the results of the poll when all of the votes are counted, and get all of our daily HawaiiMagazine.com photos and features.

We’ll be posting our next Ohana Poll question on HAWAII Magazine’s Facebook page in the weeks ahead, so “like” us now if you haven’t yet.

Until then, here’s the Top 5 countdown of our Facebook ohana’s favorite Hawaii hiking trails.

Photo: Mitchell Isoda

Kilauea Iki Trail

(Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island)

Kilauea, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is currently ranked among the most active volcanoes on the planet. The park has many trails, ranging from a quick walk through a lava tube to multi-day hikes. Among the most popular: Kilauea Iki Trail — a 4-mile loop trail through Kilauea Iki crater, the remains of a massive 1959 eruption. The trail begins off the park’s Crater Rim Drive near the Thurston Lava Tube. Its more than 400-foot descent takes hikers through a variety of scenery—lush fern- and foliage-filled rainforests, with native birds in the trees, near active steam and sulfur vents and across a long-solidified lava lake. Follow rock cairns across the crater floor. Bring sunscreen as well as rain gear as daily weather can shift from warm and sunny to cool, wet and windy.

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for more detailed trail info.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
HAWAII Magazine's "15 Great Hawaii Hiking Trails" guide
“Best of Hawaii” 2010: Our readers' favorite Hawaii hiking trails
Top 5 favorite scenic spots on Kauai: HAWAII Magazine facebook poll results

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