Lava Tree State Park:
Distance: 1.8 miles (5 minutes drive) from Hedonisia, 2.7 miles from Pahoa
When is it open: Daylight hours
Admission fee: Free!
Southeast of Pahoa Town, towering trees canopy the walking trail that guides your tour of Lava Tree State Park. In 1790, lava came down and buried the ʻŌhiʻa trees up to 11 feet deep in molten lava. The trees that were surrounded by the molten lava cooled the lava that coated them, while the heat of the lava caused the trees to burn into ash. As the hot molten lava drained away, the cooler lava covering the trees already started to harden, forming large lava sculptures of tree trunks that jut from the landscape.
Lava Tree State Park consists of 17 acres of native plants, trees, and many lava tree molds. With only a 5 minute drive from Hedonisia, this 30 minute hike around the horseshoe-shaped trail gives great views of the Lava Trees as well as many examples of the beautiful variety of blooms which the “Orchid Isle” is known for. This park is also an opportunity to get closer to the large trees that line the roadsides and see how big they really are.
The park has a paved parking lot and restroom accessibility. There are picnic tables, trash cans, walking paths, and is ADA accessible. There is no drinking water at the park. The trail around the park is paved but is uneven due to growing tree roots. The trail is not navigable through its entire length with a wheelchair. The park is free for entry.
Lava Tree State Park is about 500 ft above sea level. It is usually humid so shorts and rubber slippers or shoes are adequate. Bringing a light rain gear in the car is also recommended in case it rains.