Located on the eastern side of the Big Island, just southeast of Pahoa town, is a state park known as the Lava Tree State Monument; and after a long day of road-tripping in your rental car this 17-acre park is the perfect opportunity to get out and stretch your legs. The trail is less than a mile long and there is no fee to enter, so bring your camera and a picnic, and enjoy a walk through this unique forest.
As you walk along the path you may notice that these trees do not look like typical Ohia trees with deep green leaves and bright red flowers, instead they look like giant rock statues–which is exactly what they are. After reading the signs within the park I learned that over 200 years ago a lava flow covered the area in scalding hot liquid fire, and the Ohia trees slowly burned as they were coated in lava. Once the lava cooled all that was left were these unique molds frozen in time within the jungle.
No matter your location on this side of the island, you can’t help but think about Goddess Pele and her explosive power (especially when you are essentially playing on the slopes of the Kilauea volcano). And as the lava creeps towards Pahoa town I can’t help but think about all of the residents affected by this most recent flow. I guess when you live near an active Volcano you have to mentally prepare yourself for this type of disaster, but I’m hoping that Goddess Pele will somehow change course.
Sending my ALOHA!