Despite popular belief, sometimes it’s best to avoid the road less traveled. I know; it may seem like I’m killing your sense of adventure, but when it comes to hikes in Hawaii, there’s more than enough expeditions available to satisfy even the most avid hiker. So play it safe, and stay on sanctioned trails as opposed to those that aren’t maintained and therefore, are unsafe for hiking.

Unsanctioned hikes are risky endeavors.

I unknowingly went on an unsanctioned hike, and it wasn’t until we reached the narrow ridge trail sandwiched between steep cliffs that I realized it. The funny thing is, I had every intention of writing a story about the hike. Now, I’m writing a story about not hiking it; visiting hikers (beginner or expert) should avoid those trails not approved by the state. That was the first time in all my years of hiking that I’ve ever been fearful. The gusty winds and narrow trails, which seemed to have miles of air beneath, did it for me!

Unsanctioned hikes aren’t usually maintained nor are they marked well. Needless to say, such hikes result in the most injuries. Recently in the news, a very experienced hiker died after falling 150 feet from an unsanctioned Waimanalo ridge hike. You may see an awesome hike on YouTube and want to try it out, but before you do, double check that it’s safe. It just isn’t worth it. Take my word for it, there are plenty of sanctioned hikes to get your heart pumping and to give you a view you’ll never forget.

If you’re uncertain as to whether a hike is sanctioned or not, then it’s best to check with us or visit the state parks’ website: www.hawaiistateparks.org/hiking.

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