Hawaii is home to approximately 51 state parks on five different islands, not including national parks and forest reserves. Here are, arguably, sixteen of the most stunning state parks that make Hawaii even more beautiful.
1) Nu'uanu Pali State Wayside, Oahu
An impressive lookout to windward Oahu and the Ko’olau Mountains welcomes you to this park, with a hiking path along the Old Pali Road inviting you to explore further.
2) Koke'e State Park, Kauai
Full of amazing hiking trails, this park features a stunning view of the Kalalau Valley from 4,000 feet in elevation.
3) Kehaka Kai State Park, Big Island
This park features both sandy beaches and dunes, as well as a 4.6-mile hike on a historic coastal trail leading to Kua Bay.
4) Iao Valley State Monument, Maui
A 6.2 acre park that includes the site of the battle of Kepaniwai, where the forces of Kamehameha I conquered the Maui army in 1790.
5) Diamond Head State Monument, Oahu
Encompassing more than 475 acres, the park is home to Hawaii’s most recognized landmark. The hike can be crowded, but it is a must-do on Oahu.
6) Wailua River State Park, Kauai
This lush river valley holds several hidden gems of its own – a fern-covered cave, several waterfalls and even sites of historical and spiritual significance.
7) Lava Tree State Monument, Big Island
A 17-acre park that features a forest of lava trees, the result of a lova flow that swept through the forest, leaving behing lava molds of the tree trunks.
9) Wai'anapanapa State Park, Maui
Remote and wild volcanic coastline which offers solitude and respite from urban living with lodging, camping, picnicking, shore fishing and hiking.
10) Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area, Oahu
Featuring camping and the popular 4.8-mile Aiea Loop trail along the ridge line, Keaiwa Heau was formerly known as a healing or medicinal heiau (temple).
11) Waimea Canyon State Park, Kauai
The pictures speak for themselves, don’t they? The state park features a short trail but avid hikers will need to brave the neighboring forest reserve for the long strenuous hike into the canyon.
12) Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Big Island
When you have a stunning beach in front of you, do you really need anything else?
13) Pala'au State Park, Molokai
The park features a scenic overview of Kalalupapa, where individuals with Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) were once banished. You can camp here too.
14) Makena State Park, Maui
Makena is a scenic wildland beach park with a large white sand beach, perfect for swimming, fishing and other recreational activities.
15) Kalopa State Recreation Area, Big Island
Known for lodging and camping, this park features only short hiking trails, with longer excursions in the neighboring forest reserve.
16) Polihale State Park, Kauai
A magnificent beach park for camping, fishing and swimming awaits visitors at the end of a long and rutted dirt road.