Hike to Shipman Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii
One of the best things you can do for your health is take a trip to Hawaii. I lived on the island for a few years and found it to be very therapeutic and at the same time found a few fun things that most tourists never see. There were a ton of fun things to do, but some were hard to find. This review is a hike into Shipman Beach, a few miles north of Hilo.
You are headed out on a 2 1/2 mile hike, partially through forest, some exposure to sun. Bring plenty of drinking water. Shoes that work well over lava and wet muddy forest floors. You can swim at your destination and bring a camera. Depending on the day, you may be the only ones on the trail or at the beach.
The trail starts in a neighborhood called Hawaiian Paradise Park. You get there, from Hilo.
- Exiting from the airport, take highway 11 towards Volcano. ( Past the Walmart, Prince Kuhio Shopping Mall,
- After about 8 miles (Mile Marker 6) turn left onto highway 130 towards the town of Pahoa
- After 5 miles, including driving around the town of Keaau, past the high school, the Hawaii Humane Society on your left and a ways…. 5 miles, past Shower Dr.
- Turn left on Kaloli Dr in Hawaiian Paradise Park and go to Beach Rd ( a little over 4 miles).
- Turn left on Beach Rd and goto end. There is a parking lot ( area).
Be careful. As with many areas on the Big Island, be smart about leaving things in your vehicle. Put anything of value in the trunk.
From here, head out across the lava field covered in vegetation. You will be in direct sun for about 15 minutes. Then the trail will enter the forest. Depending on what the weather has been like, once you enter the forest, there could be some pretty good size puddles. The trail follows the right-of way of the Old Puna Government Road – also known as the Old Government Road, the Ha’ena Trail or the Road to Ha’ena Village (it is thought that near this cove an ancient Hawaiian village called Ha’ena once thrived).. One thing to keep in mind when doing the Mauka (Mountain Side) trail, when the road forks (there are a few forks in the path) stay to the right and keep the ocean to your right. At the cove there is a grassy area in the shade and one rustic bench, but it is not large, so if you share the beach with others you will also be sharing this spot of grass.
It’s a 2 1/2 mile hike and depending … it could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to hike in. I would not suggest children that don’t like to hike or at least be in good enough shape so you can carry them. There is The Forest, an old World War II bunker, coconut tree, white sand beach, turtles, fresh and salt water. The stream coming in at the beach is a little chilly.
Please respect the private property that is along the beach. It is surrounded by thousands of acres of the Shipman Estate, through which the roads are exclusively private.
Here are the rest of the pictures for this hike.
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If you have the time, want to go where most tourist do not go, then this hike is worth your time. Plan on taking some time at the beach. It is very refreshing.
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