Over the first half of the year, our outings leaders and volunteers have had a great time sharing with everyone some of Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi’s greatest accomplishments through Victory Hikes statewide. Outings were held at Kahuku Point, Maunawili Demonstration Trail, Pālehua, and Wiliwilinui on Oʻahu, Wailua Beach, Nukoliʻi Beach, and Māhāʻulepū on Kauaʻi, Wailea 670, Wailua Iki and Hāmākua on Maui, and Makalawaena and Oʻoma through the Ala Kahakai Trail on Hawaiʻi Island.
Each Victory Hike celebrates the club’s past, present, and future efforts in building, protecting, preserving, and/or improving a particular area. We encourage you to attend one or more of these outings and bring along friends to join in the celebration and learn about the club’s efforts and successes. Click here to see the upcoming victory hikes for each quarter and group and join the fun. See you on the trails!
Oʻoma through the Ala Kahakai Trail | Moku Loa Group by Diane Ware
On Earth Day, April 22, the Moku Loa Group led a service hike through Oʻoma on the Ala Kahakai Trail to see firsthand what the Group and community effort succeeded in preserving from another luxury development over the past 25 years. Three times, landowners petitioned the Land Use Commission to reclassify this makai property from conservation to urban. Each time the landowners lost due to overwhelming testimony from the community and groups like the Sierra Club and Surfrider. The County now owns the land through the 2% land fund generated by property taxes. Through this land battle, the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission is now a charter amendment being spearheaded by Debbie Hecht, a long time Sierra Club member. What we observed to be developing from county ownership of this land is a lovely day-use beach area with public access. Way to go!
Wiliwilinui Trail | Oʻahu Group by Reese Liggett
The scene was the State’s Nā Ala Hele Wiliwilinui Trail at the top of Waiʻalae Iki subdivision. Eleven Sierra Club members and supporters joined outings leaders Jean Fujikawa and Randy Ching to enjoy the two-hour hike/climb to the Koʻolau ridge about 2,200 feet above sea level. Sierra Club Life Member, Reese Liggett, relayed to the hikers how in 1995, ’96, ’97, and 1998, Oʻahu Group’s Outings Committee participated at neighborhood boards, Board of Land and Natural Resources, and City Council proceedings to gain a victory of fair public access through the gated community between the Honolulu’s Laukahi Street and the trailhead at the edge of a State Conservation District. Because of this victory, hiking members of the public shall not be subject to signing a waiver or revealing personal or vehicular credentials—all they need do is declare their intent to hike the State’s Na Ala Hele Trail to the gate guard on Laukahi Street and they are to be provided access to hike Wiliwilinui Trail within the limitation of the 30 designated parking spaces near the trail. After the hike, all enjoyed hikers’ camaraderie, cold lychee and soft drinks.
Kahuku Point | Oʻahu Group by Colleen Soares
Ed Mersino and I were leading this hike from the old Kahuku Golf Course to Turtle Bay. January 13 was the date of the erroneous missile alert, everyone received alerts on their phones as I was driving back to Kahuku Golf Course from Turtle Bay with 4 participants who left their cars in the parking lot. Everyone was exclaiming about the Missile Alert that was imminent in 30 minutes. My stomach dropped! Once we got back to Kahuku Golf Course, we exchanged worries and questions about the alert, and what to do. We were flummoxed, but realized that we were the lucky ones. If we were going to be incinerated, we would be in a beautiful setting, hiking with friends. So we described the hike, and began. There were 10 people on the hike, including Ed and I, it was a gorgeous day, and we had a beautiful outing. Unfortunately, because of this ridiculous government snafu, there were no donations but we had a great time discussing the enormous amount of work that has been done by North Shore activists to minimize the expansion of the Turtle Bay hotels and condos on this pristine wildlife shoreline.
Wailea 670 Archeological Outing | Maui Group by Lucienne De Naie
Sixteen years of advocacy and three years of legal settlement negotiations has given the Sierra Club Maui Group exclusive recreational access to hundreds of acres of rolling meadows; rugged lava flows and unique native dryland flora and fauna in the proposed Honua‘ula (formerly “Wailea 670”) development area in South Maui. Our 2018 Victory Hike, with special guest archaeologist Dr. Janet Six, shared the story of this great accomplishment with twenty five eager participants, who saw firsthand some of the ancient cultural sites and magnificent native wiliwili trees that will now be protected in a 161 acre preserve.
Makalaweana Beach | Moku Loa Group by Diane Ware
Moku Loa Group’s first quarter Victory Hike visited Makalaweana Beach. It had been a very rainy week with flash flood watch the day before and led to a number of cancellations. Finally, the weather cleared on the westside and we had a group of 11 participants hiking from Kekaha Kai State Park. From that beautiful bay we hiked over rough lava to a long stretch of white sand beach, passing anchialine ponds and sand dunes. We spent a couple of hours exploring, snorkelling, and watching spinner dolphins and whales. We also saw 3 monk seals one with a pup. It was a glorious day in a special place protected from resort development.
Wailua Beach To Nukoliʻi Beach Sunset to Full Moon Walk | Kauai Group by Judy Dalton
Our sunset to full moon Nukoliʻi Beach Walk was a big hit. It was a balmy evening with clear skies and everyone enjoyed walking along this long, pristine coastline. Hike participants were grateful that the beach was saved from being destroyed by a 6 foot high, 3/5 mile long sea wall fronting Wailua Golf Course that the County had attempted to build back in 1996. Immediately upon commencement of construction, the beach began to erode and sections became impassable. It took 3 months of intensive effort to get the Army Corps of Engineers and DLNR to issue a cease and desist order, forcing the County to remove the non-permitted seawall. Otherwise, this entire coastline from Nukoliʻi Beach to Wailua Beach would have eventually suffered the same fate as a quarter of the beaches on Oʻahu of coastline destruction from seawalls and revetments.