We here at Hawaii Revealed, sometimes find ourselves in disagreement with decisions about public access to lands here in the Rainbow State. It seems that we have a positive story to share this time.
Recently on Maui, our friends at PATH (Public Access Trails Hawai´i) teamed up with the State of Hawai´i to challenge the Haleakala Ranch Company for access to the Historic Haleakala Trail. This trail was the primary access to Haleakala Crater for hundreds of years before Captain Cook’s arrival. It has been used by countless generations of Hawai´ians and famously walked by Mark Twain during his visit to Maui in the 19th century.
The process was long, but in the end a jury ruled in favor of the State and PATH that the State does own the trail and always has. The Ranch Company has claimed ownership for over 70 years and granted limited access through a long, tedious process through the State’s trail program, Na Ala Hele. With the new ruling reaffirming the public ownership of the trail, locals and visitors alike will be able walk this historic trail that few have had access to for nearly a century. At least in theory. Management plans are still being worked out and the Haleakala Ranch Company is not too happy about being ordered to allow just any to kook walk through their property.
This Fall is the earliest we expect to hear anything back on management plans. We will keep our fingers crossed that these changes will mean the opportunity for everyone to experience the splendor of walking through time to the House of the Sun.