Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hawaii Big Island: Lava Tree State Monument Re-opened

Lava Tree State Monument, one of Puna's jewels, is just around the corner from Hale Moana Hawaii Bed & Breakfast.  The park was closed in September of this year, when construction for improvements started. Improvements included alterations to the parking with access aisle, comfort station, pathway to the picnic pavilion and related signage.The Department of Land and Natural Resources finished construction at the Lava Tree State Monument recently and the park was re-opened, today.
The park is unique with its lava formations and tropical vegetation. The 0.7-mile loop trail meanders through a forest of lava trees. It is the result of a lava flow that swept through this area in 1790. The lava trees formed when the liquid lava, at about 2000° F, came in contact with the cool, wet ohi’a trees.  A quickly-cooled coating of lava congealed around the trees and buried them to a depth of as much as 11 feet.  The original trees burned away, but their hollow casts stand today, so perfectly molded inside that imprints of the tree bark remain. The rest of the flow passed on, perhaps draining away down the numerous cracks in this area that formed contemporaneously with the flows; one of the cracks which likely drained the lava away is still visible.
New at iTunes: Hawaii Dream Vacation iPhone/iPod Touch App Puts the Magic of Hawaii in the Palm of Your Hand, available at iTunes or www.tourguidehawaii.com.This rift was both the delivery tube of the lava stream and the conduit down which it drained away after forming the lava trees at Lava Trees State Monument.


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