In 1871, an old trail from Nāpō’opo’o to Ho’okena was improved to make it passable for horses. Because of this, it became known as “Two Horse Trail.” The northern section of this trail was paved in 1918, but the southern section was left untouched and this became the 1871 Trail, which heads south from Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park.
One feature of this trail is the Alakaha ramp at the southern end of Alakaha Bay. The ramp was built to allow trail users to safely ascend Keanae’e Cliffs.
According to bigislandhikes.com, “Prior to the construction of the ramp, access to Ki’ilae (an ancient village) was by ladder or rope only. The earliest mention of the ramp is from 1868, but the ramp likely existed prior to that time. The ramp requires periodic maintenance. It had deteriorated so much in the early 1900s that cowboys called the ramp the “one foot out trail” because they always kept one foot out of the stirrups in case they needed to bail off their horse.”
The top photo looks down the ramp with Keanae’e Cliffs on the right. In the middle photo, the ramp and trail with Alakaha Bay on the left. Below, hiking up toward the ramp with Keanae’e Cliffs on the left.
For more information about the 1871 Trail, and other hikes on the Big Island, go to bigislandhikes.com.
For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.