Nov 17

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui

Black Sand Beach OverlookWai’anapanapa State Park is wonderful place to stop during your trip on the Hana Highway.  The park encompasses 122 acres of beautiful grounds that includes a natural sea arch, caves, hiking trail, native forest, and a rare black sand beach.  The black sand beach is rare on Maui since black sand is formed from lava flowing into the ocean and shattering upon contact with cool water.  The shattered pieces then are smashed by the sea and wash upon the shoreline creating the black sand. 
Karen holding the Black SandThe black sand beach can be dangerous for swimming due to the strong rip currents and shore break.  It was however a very lovely to walk down to see.  While we were in the area there were a few people that got into the water, but I would advise against it.  There are much better and safer places to swim at in Maui. 
Black Sand BeachAfter walking down to the black sand beach Karen and I took the short trail to some freshwater caves.  The trail is just a short loop that gets you up close and personal with two caves in the area.  It is a very pretty trail with tropical plants and flowers near it.  There is also a legend about the caves that deals with the murder of a Hawaiian princess that was killed by her cruel husband there.  The story is told on a sign by the entrance to the trail. 
CaveKaren and I recommend that you set aside at least an hour to explore this state park.  We could have and should have spent a little bit more time here then we did.  It is well worth stopping for especially if you have never seen a black sand beach before.  Remember that the black sand is finite so please do not take the black sand with you when you leave.  Let future generations enjoy it by leaving it just as you found it.  Plus, it is said that taking black sand or lava from the Hawaiian Islands is extremely bad luck.  I do not know if that is true or not, but we have never risked it.
Hawaiian Vegetation

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