Ala Kahakai Trail (Access Point: Spencer Beach Park) – PLEASE READ 4/6/16 UPDATE
Location: Ala Kahakai Trail is a 175-mile long trail broken up into segments. Spencer Beach Park is just one access point that is 3 miles long, ending at Hapuna Beach.
***4/6/2016 UPDATE: Dogs are prohibited in any County of Hawaii beach park, including Spencer Beach Park. While many of us have hiked with our dogs from Spencer Beach Park, we have been (innocently) doing so under the radar due to a lack of County Parks & Recreation employees present at Spencer Beach. We are currently looking into options, possibly other access points that welcome dogs. I will be talking with both Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail personnel and DLNR (who has also has jurisdiction over the Na Ala Hele trail system) to see if we can find a solution. Mauna Kea Resort will not allow any dogs on property, so that entrance is not an option either. It’s interesting and a predicament…The person at the guard shack told me to enter from Spencer Beach Park “since no one from the County is ever there.” I believe in following rules, communication, and finding a solution, so I’m looking into this.
5/24/2016 UPDATE: I spoke with the Ala Kahakai Trail Superintendent (who is a dog lover, too!), and he “think(s) some kind of provision for trail users with dogs on leashes through Spencer Park is reasonable.” They have planned upcoming meetings with County Parks & Rec to discuss improvements to Spencer Beach Park, so I will be working with them to see if we can adopt a policy amendment of some sort for “passive use” for people with their leashed dogs who are there strictly to use the hiking trail. Please stay tuned!
Directions: To access the Ala Kahakai Trail from Spencer Beach Park: From Waikoloa Village, take Highway 19 north to Highway 270. Continue onto 270. Make a left turn at the access road between mile markers 2 and 3. There is a parking area at the north and south ends of the beach. However, park on the SOUTH end to access the hiking trail.
Description: Starting at Spencer Beach Park, the trail is mostly shaded, and the sand is firm enough to walk in slippahs for those going for a short, casual walk. You will soon come to a narrow shell beach. During heavy nearby rainstorms, caution is advised at this beach since it is common to have flash floods exit at this narrow beach. Further south, you will come to Mau’umae Beach. This beach currently posts a sign, stating that no dogs are allowed. Keep walking past Mau’umae, and you will end up at Hapuna Beach!
About Ala Kahakai Trail: Interesting archaeological treasures, artifacts, fishponds and remains of ancient dwellings can be found all along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. The trail more or less follows the coastline for 175 miles from ‘Upolu Point (northernmost point of the Big Island), along the entire west coast to Ka Lae (South Point), then northeast up to Waha’ula Heiau at Puna. The entire Ala Kahakai Trail is comprised of short segments of many Big Island trails, crossing through public as well as private land. Shoreline access points lead to sections of trail connecting some of the best Big Island Hawaii beaches, particularly along the west coast.