Hiking in Hawaiʻi is a unique experience and a chance to see some flora and fauna that can be found nowhere else in the world. Being a good steward to our islands’ natural environment preserves Hawaiian ecosystems, the services they provide, and the Hawaiian cultural resources. When hiking in Hawaiʻi, being “pono” or correct, is way to preserve and respect this most beautiful and special place.
Why are invasive species bad for our forests? Not all forests are at the same “health” level. Some are better than others…meaning they are dominated by native plants. Invasive plants harm our forests by:
- Promote erosion and flooding – leading to property damage, health hazards and sedimentation of nearshore reefs.
- Reduce the amount of water captured by passing rain and clouds – less water for residents & visitors.
- Reduce biodiversity – eliminating habitat for our unique plant and animal species
How you can help?
Use public trails and stay on trails – this reduces risk of spreading invasive weed seeds to new areas.
Don’t be dirty! Start each hike with clean shoes and gear. Weed seeds and fungus can stick in dirt and cling to clothes (and fur), hitchhiking with you.
Put some alcohol on it! When you finished cleaning your shoes after your hike, spray them with 70% rubbing alcohol to kill the ROD fungus.
- ROD fungus is killing our native ʻōhiʻa trees…our most dominant tree in the native forests. For details, visit: ROD Oahu
Report invasive species! See something that’s just not right? A dead ʻōhiʻa tree, miconia, strange plant or animal…report it!
Volunteer! Join the Devil Weed Crew! Dedicate one or more of your hike to looking for and removing devil weed. For more details, visit: Devil Weed Crew Oahu Page
Remember to BE SAFE! Hiking in Hawaiʻi isn’t as easy as some may think…
- Know your trail: Use the Na Ala Hele website to find out how easy or difficult your trail is.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going and when to expect you back. Some areas don’t have cellular service, so you may not always be able to call for help.
- Bring water! Most experts recommend at least 1/2 liter for every hour you’re out.
- Look at the weather – weather in the mountains can be different from weather near the shore and flash floods are real!
- Using the Oahu Zone Forecast website can allow you narrow in on specific areas you’ll be hiking.
- Bring a first aid kit. From blisters to bee stings, you don’t know what you might encounter on a trail. Be prepared! You can purchase one already packed or build your own.