Lava Tree State Park - A Jewel in the Heart of Puna
|Tree Molds with Lau Hala Trees|
The 0.7 mile trail takes you through a forest of lava tree molds of various shapes and sizes. Allow 30 minutes for a leisurely walk along the loop route. The path is paved, but there are slight inclines as the path follows the natural topography. The path may also be wet and slippery after periods of rain. If it starts to rain take cover in one of the two rest shelters along the way. It is recommended to stay on the path as vegetation hides cracks and uneven terrain.
|Bird Nest Fern|
There are about 85 tree molds preserved in the park. You will be able to view about 40 of these molds along the path.
|'Ohi'a Trees with Lehua Blossoms|
|Trail in the Park|
|Giant Elephant Ear Plants|
What happened in this area is this: In the 1790 a fiery eruption of Kilauea sent red hot lava flowing down the slopes of the volcano. Crackling and thundering sounds of falling and burning trees followed in the wake of the lava flow. The tree molds recorded the maximum thickness of the lava as it passed the 'ohi'a trees.
|Albizia Tree - High Canopy|
Today, there are many different varieties of gingers, heleconias, ti plants, taro and other tropical species. Albizia trees, an invasive species brought in from Africa by the lumber industry, create an incredible canopy high above the whole area.