Tuesday, November 19, 2013

He'eia State Park

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So here's another stop on the big bus ride around Oahu, this time from the windward (i.e. greener and wetter) side of the island. He'eia State Park is a bit of shoreline on Kane'ohe Bay, across the Ko'olau Range from Honolulu. The Ko'olaus look impossibly high and rugged from the windward side, and it's hard to believe the highest point is only around 3100 feet. I stopped here for the scenery, but the park also offers kayak rentals, snorkeling, and a large rentable meeting hall that seems to be a popular local wedding spot.

In a few of these photos you'll see what looks like a sort of breakwater or seawall structure out in the bay. This is the wall of the He'eia fishpond, an ancient aquaculture structure built by native Hawaiians an estimated 600-800 years ago. Fishponds were a common form of food production then, but many fell into disrepair after Western contact. The He'eia fishpond has seen restoration efforts, though invasive species are still a problem, and the environment here is the subject of ongoing research. A nonprofit organization now manages it in conjunction with the landowner, the omnipresent Kamehameha Schools / Bishop Estate. They offer tours, but I'm not sure you can just show up unannounced and wander around taking photos; I couldn't find a trail over to the fishpond, so I don't really know one way or the other.

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