The most picturesque waterfall on Hawaii’s Big Island is easily accessible, with a stroll through beautiful rain forest.
There are many waterfalls in Hawaii, although to see them you often have to take a long drive and a difficult hike. The Akaka Falls State Park, however, is a great option for those wanting to see two of Hawaii’s most impressive waterfalls without requiring too much time or exertion. Visit the 100-foot (30.5-meter) Kahuna Falls on your way to the impressive 442-foot (135-meter) Akaka Falls, arguably the most famous in the state.
Both waterfalls are located on a looped trail that takes you through a shady rain forest. Stroll along the paved trail as you listen to the sounds of the forest around you. Despite the popularity of the falls, the trail never feels overly crowded and the half-mile (800-meter) walk is a great way to enjoy the area’s natural beauty in a peaceful setting. There is a slight incline as you reach each waterfall, but the trail remains easy to complete and is suitable for all ages.
Learn about the plants and animals that call the rain forest home as you make your way to the falls. There are plenty of information panels along the trail that provide details about the tropical bamboo and ferns.
Climb the steps to the lookout for each of the falls. Watch as the water rolls down the cliff face at Kahuna Falls, your first stop on the walk. This is an excellent place to pause for a break, and some seating is available. Continue on to see the free-falling Akaka Falls. The lush vegetation of the gorge surrounds the waterfall as it plunges into the deep pool below.
Akaka Falls are located 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of Hilo and are best reached by car. The fee to enter the park includes parking. The park is open every day of the year and there are restrooms.