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Kalopa State Recreation Area - Great Spot for Family Picnics and Camping in Big Island, Hawaii

Kalopa State Recreation Area - CabinsKalopa State Recreation Area, formally known as Kalopa Native Forest State Park and Recreation Area, is a 100-acre state park on the northwestern side of the Big Island, Hawaii. It features a lush forest of native trees, shrubs, ferns and other exotic plant species at a 2000-foot (610 meter) elevation above the Hamakua coast.

The park is known for its Kalopa Nature Trail, an easy 0.7 mile loop trail that leads through an ohi`a rain forest. This forest contains ancient ohi`a trees, some of the largest ever recorded. The ohi`a create an upper canopy beneath which grow in abundance kopiko, kolea, pilo, hame, olomea, hapu`u and other native species. This trail is popular among families and takes about an hour t complete.

Kalopa State Recreation AreaAnother trail is the Kalopa Gulch trail which leads to the Kalopa and Hanaipoe gulches which are as deep as 150 - 200 feet deep and originate near the summit of Mauna Kea. These gulches were formed by the meltwater from the Pleisocene glacial icecap of Mauna Kea. There are two choices with this particular trail system, a minimal 0.5 or a 1.5 mile hike.

The endangered io ( the Hawaiian hawk) can be seen on occaision as well as the ope`apa`a (the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat) and the auku`u (night heron). Many other introduced birds can be seen and heard while in the park; cardinal, linnet, melodious laughing thrush, white-eye, Kalij and ring-neck pheasants.

Limited tent camping is available ($12/residents, $18/non-residents) and cabin lodging ($60-$90/night/cabin). Duplex cabins feature 8-person units provided with bunk beds, toilet facilities, and hot shower. A centrally located recreational dining hall is equipped for shared cooking and serving all cabin users. Furnishings include a gas range, water heater, refrigerator, freezer, limited dishes, cooking and eating utensils, tables and chairs, as well as restrooms. No linen, bedding and towels. Camping permits obtained from Hawaii District of Hawaii State Parks required.

Other park facilities include restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables and barbeque grills.

Kalopa State Recreation Area is located 5 miles southeast of Honoka'a. Turn off Mamalahoa Highway 19 between the 39 and 40 mile markers and follow the signs 3 miles inland.

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