AAA Editor Notes
‘Akaka Falls State Park is 3.6 mi. s.w. at the end of ‘Akaka Falls Rd. (SR 220). In a lush, deep gorge, one of the state's most impressive waterfalls plunges 442 feet into Kolekole Stream. To reach ‘Akaka Falls you'll walk a .4-mile paved loop trail that winds, dips and climbs through a sublime rain forest filled with gurgling streams, tropical plants, bamboo thickets and massive banyan trees. At roughly the halfway mark, a short trail leads to a view of distant Kahuna Falls (bring binoculars), a 300-foot-high cascade that's largely obscured by vegetation.
The main attraction, free-falling ‘Akaka Falls, is most dramatic after a good rainstorm, and at 442 feet, the falls are twice the height of Niagara Falls. The best time for photography is late morning. At a leisurely pace, the entire loop trail will take about 45 minutes. If you're short on time or it's pouring rain (common in the Hilo area), make a left at the trailhead and walk about 800 feet directly to the ‘Akaka overlook. An interpretive kiosk at the trailhead features information about the walk, plants and birds, and cultural history.
Note: Though the entire trail is paved, rain can make the steep staircases and slopes very slick. Use caution.
Time: Allow 45 minutes minimum.