Lava Tree State Park is a very unique natural wonder and not just our most favorite Puna park, but our favorite park of the Big Island of Hawaii. When a hot lava flow entered the area in 1790, it covered the ohia trees living in its path. The trees kept the lava moist enough to cool it down, before being burnt to ashes and creating what are called lava tree molds. Some of these lava tree molds are still standing. Of course, you can find similar lava tree molds in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park, but they are much more accessible at Lava State Tree Park. The trail through the park is paved (with a few cracks from tree roots) and is an easy for children and seniors alike.
Off Pahoa-Kapoho Road (Highway 132), 2.7 miles southeast of Pahoa.
Restrooms, Picnic facilities.
Deep fissures, which are sometimes covered by vegetation, can be very dangerous. So stay on the trail!
MacKenzie State Recreation Area
This 13 acre park was developed around a grove of ironwood trees (originally planted by A.J MacKenzie). You can see remnants of the King’s Highway which is a rock road built by the Great King Kamehameha. The coastline at MacKenzie is forged from black volcanic rock. Due to rough ocean and strong currents, swimming and cliff climbing is not advised. MacKenzie is the perfect place for family picnics (shaded by ironwood trees) and is a great hangout place with beautiful ocean views.
On Kaimu-Kapoho Road, approximately two miles south of Isaac Hale Beach County Park (right after the mile marker #137).
Restrooms, Picnic tables and pavilions, free parking, emergency telephone box.
Camping is allowed with state permit.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was established in 1916 and stretches over 323,000 acres, partly located in the Puna district and partly in the Kau district. It's the most famous of all Puna parks, attracting over 1 million visitors a year. The summit is called Mauna Loa Volcano (“Long Mountain”) and is more than 13,000 feet high. The Kilauea volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The park offers numerous trails. Only part of the park charges a reasonable admission (around $10 per person). The park is open 24 hours a day, year round. The Visitors Center opens at 7:45 AM and closes at 5:00 PM. The Jaggar Museum opens at 8:30 AM and closes at 5:00 PM.
The entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park of the park is right off Highway 11 near Volcano Village.