Crackdown on popular Kamehame ridge trail

Crackdown on popular Kamehame ridge trail

HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "It was beautiful. Got to meet some hang gliders as well and watch them take off, so it was fun, awesome experience". That's how Marisa Bernal of Honolulu describes her hike with friends to the top of Kamehame Ridge.

The only problem with their escapade? It was illegal. The land is owned by Kamehameha Schools and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. Trespassing is not allowed.

Starting Saturday, it won't be tolerated. Security on site will begin issuing citations for any hikers caught on the property.

"I don't see a point to it. It's one of the easiest hikes we've done, it's just like [Makapu'u] Lighthouse" said Mary Jane Peterson, who hiked the trail with Bernal.

Kamehameha Schools cites vandalism, graffiti and liability risk as reasons for the decision. Additionally, licensed users of the area have had to endure hikers wandering on to the land. Delorese Gregoire is the Founding Director of Winners Camp - a residential camp for teens located atop the ridge. She says trespassing has gotten bad recently.

"Exponentially in the last couple of years. And that's because of the viral media".

Security at the site is now using that media for its agenda.

"They just said to tell all our friends, to put it on social media to spread the word and let everyone know that people are going to start getting arrested starting tomorrow" said Bernal.

Marisa and Mary Jane dutifully posted the warning, helping spread the message, while getting it at the same time.

"I wish it was open to more people and wasn't so strictly enforced but, it's private property so...guess I don't have a choice".

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