Lava Trail Re-opens

Jennifer Chou
Jennifer Chou
Harley Tripp
Harley Tripp

BIG ISLAND (KHNL) -- It was a rare opportunity for visitors on the Big Island to see Mother Nature at work.

Hundreds came out to check out the hottest show in the islands, as lava flows to the sea from Kilauea volcano.

The trail at the end of Route 130 had been closed for 6 years. Today city and county officials re-opened the trail allowing visitors to view the lava from the ground

They waited hours in the heat, anxious to brave the long hike on a trail that had been closed for so long.

It's been closed since 2002 and we decided to re-open it because Pele decided to come back here.

This volcanic activity is attracting visitors and locals alike. Dave Parker and his family are visiting from Alaska and wanted to see some variety in one of nature's most intriguing phenomenon.

"We came to see a volcano that leaks into the sea because all of ours just blow up," Parker said.

For others, it was a chance to pay their respects to Pele. Hilo native, Harley Tripp brought a hookupu as an offering for the volcano goddess.

"This is just a gift to her for saying mahalo nui, and just respecting the fact the she is real and she is alive," Tripp said.

As beautiful and spectacular as the lava flow might look, it's important to remember that this area, now covered with earth, was at one time a place where people used to live.

"There's also a lot of pain with this, because on the side of the roads a lot of people's homes and property and even graves have been buried in the past so please respect that," Tripp said.

With the speed of the lava flow, visitors should be wary when turning there back's on Madame Pele.

"It's a little scary, just the time that we've been here it's gone about 100 feet, and the heat keeps coming at us and there's definitely that sense of danger," visitor Angela Chou said.

This special trail is gives visitors and local residents a rare opportunity to see the Hawaiian Islands being formed before their very eyes.

Because of how rapidly the lava is flowing, city officials might have to close the trail again as soon as Sunday tomorrow if the lava crosses over the viewing area.