Annual First Day Hike at Kaiwi Scenic Shoreline Planned on New Year’s Day
State Parks in all 50 states are again offering free, guided, First Day Hikes, on Jan. 1, 2020. Here in Hawaiʻi, the one-mile-long hike to the Makapu‘u Lookout at the Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline on Kauaʻi is self-guided with sun rise due at 7:09 a.m.
“Hawai‘i’s unique version of the New Year’s Day hike not only provides the means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature, but we blend in multi-culturalism,” said Curt Cottrell, Administrator of the DLNR Division of State Parks.
As in year’s past, the crowd at the top will be treated to the traditional blowing of a pū (conch shell) to herald in the first sunrise of the year, followed by an oli and then a performance by the drummers of the Taiko Center of the Pacific.
The Kaiwi First Day Hike, has often been the best-attended in the country, due largely to Hawai‘i’s mild winter weather, the ease of the hike, and the fact that it is family friendly and designed for anyone, no matter their hiking ability.
State officials say that as many as 700 people have made the trek in past years. Gates to the park will open at 5 a.m. to give participant time to get to the top before the sun rises. Participants are encouraged to bring a light jacket, rain gear if needed, water, and leashes and waste bags for dogs. There are no restroom facilities at Kaiwi. Participants are reminded to pack out all trash.
According to America’s State Parks, last year nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country. Numerous others hiked state park trails throughout the day.