Local Connection: Hawaii Hiking Safety - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Hawaii Hiking Safety

By: Rick Blangiardi

Hiking trails are one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Hawaii. From any number of trails, you can glimpse the Koolau or the ocean with picturesque scenery in between.

But those who want to hike off the marked trails take their lives into their hands. On a recent weekend, two hikers fell to their deaths.

One was on an unsanctioned trail in Hawaii Kai. The other fell from a trail above Waimanalo, one of the most dangerous on Oahu. It is also not sanctioned by the state.

It is almost trite to tell people to stay on the trails but there it is. It's that simple. The thrill seekers and those who think they've traveled over too well-worn terrain need to stay put.

As experienced hikers know, erosion is eating away at our trails, rocks and cliffs and some trails are too narrow to hike, with steep drops on either side and it's impossible for the state to mark every trail in Hawaii.

Volunteers do their best to maintain the sanctioned trails so people need to stay where it's safe. DLNR chief William Aila said it best: "It's ok to say no and live another day."

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