KAWAIHAE, HAWAIʻI – Kailapa Hawaiian homestead leaders are working with community partners, developers, and government officials, to preserve public use of the historic Ala Loa Trail for access to camping and fishing grounds along the Kohala Coast.
A luxury development is taking root on 63 acres of land just north of Kailapa and makai of Akoni Pule Highway. To ensure public shoreline access the developer, Kohala Kai, LLC, constructed a walking trail parallel to the historic Ala Loa Trail, also known as the King’s Trail. The 175-mile trail runs from ʻUpolu Point in Kohala south to Kaʻū and ending in Puna.
Kailapa homestead leaders Makaʻala and Maha Kanealiʻi contend the Ala Loa Trail is more than adequate in preserving shoreline access for the public. Kohala Kai LLC, however, intends to maintain portions of the Ala Loa for private use by residents of the new development.
The Kanealiʻis toured the developer-constructed trail with representatives from Kohala Kai, LLC, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, North Kohala Community Development Plan, North Kohala Community Access Group, and Office of Hawaiʻi County Councilwoman Margaret Willie, who arranged the walkthrough with the developer.
The Hawaiʻi County Council is currently considering a resolution to grant an easement to Kohala Kai LLC for the walking trail it constructed.
Kailapa homesteaders are concerned that passage of resolution 140-13 would set a precedent allowing privatization of the historic Ala Loa Trail, which has been used by Kohala Coast ʻohana for generations.