* Akaka Falls Rd * Off Hwy 19, Honomu, HI 96728 * (808) 974-6200 * (near Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii) *
My first day on the Big Island, my friend Kawika took me to these amazing sheer pits of ‘awe’ known as ‘Akaka Falls. A 442 foot tall waterfall descending down into a deep gorge as part of the Kolekole Stream. Located within ‘Akaka Falls State Park just 11 miles north of Hilo at the end of Highway 220. Because the waterfall plunges down into a very rocky and scenic gorge, the local Hawaiians named it ‘Akaka which means “A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale”. The folklore surrounding these falls involve P?haku a Pele that, when struck by a branch of lehua ??pane, will call the sky to darken and rain to fall (Pukui, Elbert, & Mookini, 1974). You can also see Kah?n? Falls along this trail. The trail is a self-guided .4 mile hike through dense tropical vegatation leading to these two natural wonders of Hawaii. Lots of Hawaii’s botanica dot and dress up the trail as tropical flowers, vines, and trees. Kahuna Falls is the lesser of the two, plummeting 400 feet. The Park itself has a nice parking lot, rest rooms, and often will find locals selling arts and crafts. On my visit on August 6, 2009; there was an amazing artist painting local scenery. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Must visit location on the Big Island.