By Cindy Cha
HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hiking is a great way to explore Hawaii's natural beauty but if you're a beginner, you can run the risk of getting lost or hurt. A website provides details safety tips for beginners and advice on some great trails.
In addition to the safety tips this website covers about 175 miles of trails across the state. It is the only website that shows open, legal, public trails.
Hiking to the top for a view like this is priceless. But while hiking can be fun, it can also be dangerous.
Just last week, a 16-year-old boy fell 20 feet down a cliff while hiking the Makapu'u Trail in East Oahu.
But with some online research and preparation, you can avoid injuries.
"The Na Ala Hele", which in Hawaiian means "trails to go on" is a state website dedicated to inform hikers about trails and safety. Curt Cottrell manages it.
"Our website has the lion's share of public access trails, they're authorized for public use and managed for that"
Cottrell says most trail accidents can be narrowed down to three reasons.
"One, people didn't have adequate knowledge of where they are going. Two, once they're on a trail and hiking, the accidents tend to happen when they go off trail and third if somebody gets panicked or injured, they tend to take shortcuts to get back down."
If you plan to do some hiking, here are a few safety guidelines to follow:
Stay on the trail, hike with a companion, know your capabilities, keep track of time, if you get lost, turn around and back track and always tell somebody where you are going.