Hawaii is known for its many natural wonders and beauty—its beautiful beaches, dramatic coastlines and of course its many waterfalls. On the Big Island of Hawaii, located about 11 miles north of Hilo is Akaka Falls State Park, where the 442 foot Akaka Falls drops over lushly green coated cliffs and into a deep pool below.
Akaka means a separation, a split or crack in Hawaiian—and this waterfall was given its name for the deep gorge that the waterfall plunges into below. The falls are located on the Kolekole Stream on the wet side of the island.
A short 0.4 mile walk along a paved route will lead you to Akaka Falls, and those feeling a bit more up to a challenge can also go on a short nature walk, which leads through bamboo groves, ferns, ti and orchids—which will also give you the opportunity to check out 400-foot high Kahuna Falls.
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The 66-acre preserve is covered by a canopy of rainforest vegetation. With beautiful birds of paradise, azaleas and giant plants with leaves measuring almost 2 feet that will make you feel like you’re in dinosaur country.
The hike is short and easy along a well maintained and paved route and the loop is well worth the opportunity to check out Kahuna falls while you are there. Both these falls are typical wet-side Hawaiian falls—tall and thin plunges over volcanic rock.
Akaka Falls State Park is located just 11 miles on Route 19. As you pass by sugar cane fields about 20 mins outside of Hilo, you’ll see a turnoff for the state park at approximately 13 mile marker towards Honomu. Follow signs for the falls.
>>Check out more waterfalls of Hawaii