Imagine a trail cross-island from shoreline to shoreline that travels through a national park, ancient Hawaiian pathways, archeological sites, historic sites, upland pasture, rainforest, dry forest, sub-alpine shrubland, barren lava fields, volcanic vents, caves, waterfalls, Hawaii’s longest river, ponds, and an estuary. Imagine that trail rising from sea level to 7,000 feet and back again to sea level while traveling the boundary of the two tallest mountains on earth. Imagine that trail passing through desert climate with a few inches of rain annually and later through tropical rainforest with nearly 300 inches. Imagine that trail’s diversity of landscape and climate matched by its diversity of birds: waterfowl, migratory shorebirds, endangered wetland birds, parrots, a collection of songbirds representing five continents, owls, hawks, and Hawaiian endemic forest birds including Hawaiian Honeycreepers – the world’s most endangered family of birds.
The Big Picture
The Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail (HICCBT) will link a National Park, two State Parks, several Forest Reserves, two County Parks, a National Wildlife Refuge, several public trails, and local businesses. It is envisioned that the HICCBT could be expanded in time to incorporate other areas of Hawaii Island and link to other Heritage Corridors and Scenic Byways, thus creating a larger Hawaii Island Nature Trail Network. HICCBT would be the first trail designated and developed specifically as part of the Hawaii Island Nature Trail Network, serving as a pilot project for the larger island-wide network.
This exciting new project for Hawaii is in its infancy. Check back regularly to learn more about birding opportunities on the Big Island and beyond in the State of Hawaii. Additional products will be developed over the coming months with the official opening of the trail taking place during the first annual Hawaii Island Birding Festival on September 24-26, 2016.