Proposed Bicycle Use at Kahuku
This project proposes to designate the Kahuku access road up to the Upper Palm Trailhead and Palm Trail for bicycle (non-motorized) use during the hours that Kahuku is open to the public. Current use on Palm Trail consists of visitor hiking and administrative use of motorized government vehicles. The Kahuku access road supports the administrative use of motorized vehicles (government, partners and research), visitor motorized vehicles and hiking during public open hours. This project limits bicycle use to the trail and roadway and is not intended for any off-road or off-trail use. Bicycles would not be allowed past the Upper Palm Trailhead.
The Palm Trail was established over unpaved ranch roads and was opened to the public as a hiking trail in October 2011. The trail tread consists of maintained pasture grass, lava bedrock and rocky undulating hills. Trail width is generally 8-10 feet wide but can be as wide as about 12 feet. Trail maintenance is limited to grass trimming, hazardous tree removal, and loose rock removal. The Palm Trail, excluding the section of road between the Upper and Lower Trail Heads, is about 2 miles long.
The Kahuku access road is not paved with the exception of the first 4/10th mile; there are no sidewalks, lane markings or marked parking. The width of the road up to the Upper Palm Trailhead is the width of two vehicles with few short sections that narrow to a single vehicle width. There are two cattle guards (single vehicle width) along the road section to the Upper Palm Trailhead, both have been filled in with rock. The posted speed limit on the road is 15 MPH. The road surface is primarily rock and lava flows with fill of red cinder. The elevation gain from the Highway intersection with the Kahuku access road to the Upper Palm Trailhead is about 700-800 feet and is about 3 miles long.
There are no known rare or endangered species or cultural or historic resources along the trail or road that would be disturbed by bicycle use.
In proposing to designate the above described area for bicycle use in the Kahuku Unit, it has been determined (based on all available information) that the proposal is consistent with the protection of natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations and management objectives and will not disturb wildlife or park resources. This project will be reevaluated should the actual conditions of bicycle use exceed the above considerations or new information is received that would require further analysis.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718