Located north of Waimea Canyon State Park, Koke’e State Park is famous for the great hiking it offers. It has seven major hiking trails; namely, Nu’alolo, Nu’alolo Cliffs, Alakau Swamp, Kawaikoi Stream, Awa’awapuhi, Pihea, and Poomau Canyon Lookout. If you are a fan of hiking and you are nearby, Koke’e State Park is worth the trip.
It has commanding views of the lush, amphitheater-headed Kalalau Valley with an elevation of 4000 feet. The park spreads over 4,000 acres on a plateau and hikers will be greeted by beautiful views of the ocean, native and lush vegetation, as well as amazing native birds. Other outdoor activities worth trying when in the area are camping, hunting, wildlife viewing, and sightseeing.
There is also seasonal plum picking and trout fishing, as well as pig hunting in public areas. Prepare your camera for the wildflowers and other native plants and wildlife endemic to Hawaii, such as moa, iwi, and the apapane. Some of the park’s trails lead to views of Waimea Canyon while others through wet forests which have sweeping views of valleys leading up to the North Shore.
One of the must-sees in the park is the Koke’e Natural History Museum, which has plenty of information and exhibits that provides guests an excellent introduction of the Waimea Canyon. Located beyond the museum and the lodge are two amazing lookouts, Puu O Kila and Kalalau Lookout. This pet-friendly park welcomes four-legged friends of all sizes; however, there is no dedicated spot for tiny and timid pooches.
They have to interact and get along with bigger dogs. Dogs have to be on a leash at all times and must be cleaned up after. No dog scooper bags are available so remember to bring some to clean up after Spike. The trail is well-maintained, and the park has more than enough space for canines to exercise and socialize with others.