This one mike long looping trail through a hawaiian kipuka is rare in that it is filled with old-growth ‘Ohi’a and Koa trees and is home to three species of native birds. The forest itself is surrounded by recent lava flows from Mauna Loa.
This hike, while still within the Volcano’s National Park, is not inside the park gates. To get to the trail head you drive past the main entrance on Hwy 11 for 5 miles until you reach Mauna Loa Road. Take this to the trail head. There is ample parking and the trail is well marked and easy to hike.
On this trail you will find many signs identifying the native trees and plants as well as what they were/are used for. I find this kind of information really interesting and informative.
The park service does lead tours if you are interested, but I thought the trail information was easily presented and easily understandable. There is also a trail guide you can purchase at the park book store for $2.00.