Royal Kona Resort

State Parks and Trails of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island

When one thinks of the islands of Hawaii, they often think about the beaches, but there is so much more to see and do, especially in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kailua-Kona state parks offer extensive hiking throughout the island, for all experience levels, from beginner hikers to the seasoned veteran. When staying at the Royal Kona Resort, our guests have easy access to Kona Town and parks on the island, so that they can enjoy their time here.

One of the most popular Kailua-Kona state parks is Kekaha Kai State Park, which offers a variety of trails for every skill level. One thing to keep in mind when visiting this park is that there are no services, but luckily your room at the Royal Kona Resort is nearby. For this reason, pack absolutely everything you will need to bring with you before beginning the hike. We advise packing plenty of water for your journey, even in the off-season a sunscreen with a high SPF. Because there are absolutely no services in this park, it is best to bring a backpack and small trash bags to take out what you bring in.

The Makalawena Beach trail at Kekaha Kai State Park is perhaps the most enjoyable hike, but also includes rough terrain; ditch the flip-flops for a pair of sneakers or closed-toe hiking boots. This trail is rarely crowded, so if you are looking to spend a peaceful day hiking through the beaches of Kailua-Kona, this is the spot for you. This Makalawena Beach trail is not accessible by road and a 2WD vehicle can only get you to part of the trailhead; a 4WD vehicle can get you 1.6 miles further, to one of the trailheads.

There are two trails within the beach, one being a 4-mile round trip hike, and the other a 2.2-mile round trip hike. Each trail provides the opportunity to take in native Hawaiian birds, the beautiful Kailua-Kona coastline, and lava fields.

Those looking for a longer or less rocky hike in one of the Kailua-Kona state parks may enjoy Kona Coast State Park. Also part of Makalawena Beach, this is a long, 8.5-mile hike with an elevation gain of 350 feet. Similarly to the Kekaha Kai hike, there are no facilities, and this hike is much more exposed to the sun, so it is best to bring plenty of sunscreen and water.

There are many other nearby attractions and activities within the Royal Kona Resort to keep you busy during your stay. While the island is not known for its beaches, the Royal Kona gives you access to a private swimming lagoon, only for our guests. In addition to swimming, enjoy luaus, our fitness center, the massage and spa center, and our tennis club while here. Other nearby attractions include the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a must-see while you are on the island of Hawaii.

To learn how you can experience the magic of Kailua-Kona firsthand, book your next getaway or vacation at the Royal Kona Resort. We promise you will make memories that last a lifetime.