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North Kona/South Kohala Trails

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
North Kona/South Kohala Trails

I have definitely confused myself on this, so perhaps someone can clear things up.

What exactly is the difference between the Mamalahoa (King's) Trail in Waikoloa and the Ala Loa Trail (the alternate name I see for the King's Trail).

Also, are the Ala Kahakai Trail (near Kekaha Kai State Park) and the Kiholo-Puako Trail (near Kiholo Bay) the same?

Several of these trail systems seem to be all connected and part of the same original Ali`i trail network, but I am having trouble determining why they all have separate names. And my GIS files aren't any help, bc they call it all of those in various spots.

I am assuming the Malama Petroglyph Trail above the Orchid is also part of the Ala Kahakai trail network? Or no?

Mahalo for any clarification on this.

Washington DC...
posts: 10,316
reviews: 219
1. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

I don't know that the Malama Trail is part of the network, in the sense of a network of historic trails of customary use. The access to the Puako field used to be from--Puako. Then when Mauna Lani Resort started to be built, the corporation put facilities in the beach park and (I believe) re-oriented the access trail. So you can get to at at Holoholokai off the Puako-Mauna Lani part of the trail, but I think the visitor trail is a newer trail with a newr trailhead.

Ala Kahakai is protected as a national historic trail. In principle, it is about 175 miles long, from Upolu past Ka Lae. Many parts are currently obscured. Note that the easy to use and signed parts of Ala Kahakai from Kawaihae to Waikoloa are not all contiguous--see my notes to the person asking about Kohala shoreline hikes a day or so ago.

Ala Kahakai is a fisherman's coastal trail.

Ala Loa IS the King's Trail; was a royal commerce trail; is separate and inland at Mauna Lani. Ala Loa and Ala Kahakai both run thru Mauna Lani--Ala Loa on the coast and Ala Kahakai up by the clubhouse.

I remember going to Kiholo with Hugh Montgomery circa '96 and seeing the Kings Trail inland there and at the old Brown place...if there is a shore trail then there are 2 and the shore one is probably Ala Kahakai is my guess.

I suspect some trails have differnt names because they were used and maintained by different communities.

Washington DC...
posts: 10,316
reviews: 219
2. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

I may be wrong--was just looking at

akaka.senate.gov/public/index.cfm…

and Sen. Akaka says that Ala Kahakai is the modern name for Ala Loa. But then I am confused, because there is a definitely a shoreline trail and an inland "King's Trail" in parts of S, Kohala/N. Kona.

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
3. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

Thanks Honu, glad to know I'm not the only one who's been a little confused on this. Your first post was my original thinking too (I appreciate the details/notes - that helps when looking at the map), but as you noted, other sources seem to make the clarification of the trails confusing.

Maybe amber will have some insight on this?

Washington DC...
posts: 10,316
reviews: 219
4. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

Huh. More confusion or maybe not. I think the flat, "paved," edged "King's Trail" that is inland at Mauna Lani and Waikoloa, etc. is much newer than the shoreline one.

See http://www.coffeetimes.com/kingstrail.htm from 1994. "However, in visiting a particular section of trail, a visitor may hear two or three names for the same path. This is because the trail may have had a different name at various times during the island's history." Goes on to talk about the "modern" one being done under King Kalakaua, similar to the 1871 Tax Trail farther south. Says it connects to other trails and overlays them.

See the Na Ala Hele map at

http://www.hawaiitrails.org/trail.asp?TrailID=HA+14+001

this is clearly the shore one, not the cattle-drive superhighway mauka.

Under Kamehameha I the "safe passage" system was developed, and I'll bet the long trail is also a King's trail, but a differnt king...

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
5. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

LOL, wow this gets complex. So what is the Mamalahoa Trail (not the Malama trail), but Mamalahoa. It's got to be the King's Trail. I'll see if I can find the photo of the sign.

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
6. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

Here's the trail, but let me try and get the sign picture uploaded as well.

hawaii-guide.com/index.php/…

This has to be the King's Trail (Ala Loa) doesn't it?

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
7. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

Here's the sign:

hawaii-guide.com/tripadvisor/Mamalahoa.jpg

I'm so confused. This says it was 32 miles.

Washington DC...
posts: 10,316
reviews: 219
8. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

I think the King Kalakaua "King's Trail"one--in the 1870s, the wide, edged, paved with gravel-sized a'a--is 32 miles for moving among other things, cattle to be swum out and loaded onto boats. They used to do that at Kawaihae and, I believe, Puako. That 32 miles is probablty the straight, mauka trail.

If you think about it, the lava flows (e.g., the 1859 flow south of Waikoloa to Kiholo) probably covered a lot of the original trails. So there could have been an earlier "King's Trail" along the shoreline, say around Kiholo, that got covered up and substituted for by the new 1870s one. Thinking about it (duh!) that is probably what happened at Mauna Lani with the shoreline trail north of between 49 Black Sand. Just a bit north, where you are on Mauna Kea flows, not the late Mauna Loa flows, the trail is on older shoreline, not raw lava.

Anyway, hope somebody who REALLY knows posts. :-)

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
9. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

I wish I could find a reliable data file for lava flows older than 1801. That's as far back as the government provided one goes. The other flows are visible, but they are missing years - so it's hard to see how old they are and thus how often the trails might have been over run with a flow.

Your reasoning would explain why the trail changes names at Kiholo though, at least on some maps. After reading the article Akaka wrote again, I would guess the Ala Kahakai (formerly Ala Loa) Trail is the coastal trail, the really long one. The trail that's inland, including this portion of the Mamalahoa trail might just be named improperly on some maps.

Like you said, hopefully someone will have a definitive answer for us. I'm sure others are reading this going, "You guys think about the weirdest things." LOL, inquisitive minds like to know.

Lexington, South...
posts: 1,143
reviews: 1
10. Re: North Kona/South Kohala Trails

Another update/realization. The maps I have all denote the coastal trail as Ala Kahakai Trail. But as you go up and down the shore, the same trail is also denoted as Puako-Makaiwa, Kiholo-Puako, etc. This seems to be the case both north and south of Puako.

Puako means flower of the sugarcane. So I'm guessing the name is definitely related to the town and not something else, LOL.

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