Public invited to kick off 2018 with sunrise hike at Makapuu

Hundreds of people are expected to gather in East Oahu for a sunrise hike to kick off the new year.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is once again hosting a “First Day Hike” at Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline.

Participants will be able to enjoy the first sunrise of 2018 at the lookout near the famed Makapuu Lighthouse, with park rangers, naturalists, and volunteers sharing their knowledge of the area’s unique natural and cultural features.

“Our hike is perhaps the best attended in the country,” said Curt Cottrell, administrator of DLNR’s Division of State Parks. “Sunrise will be greeted and heralded in with a pu (blowing of a conch shell) in the four cardinal directions, followed by an oli and then taiko drummers. We are hoping to also have bagpipers to round off what has become a cross cultural celebration of the new year.”

Officials say the gate opens at 5:30 a.m. and sunrise is at 7:09 a.m. The hike is paved and handicapped accessible.

Participants are encouraged to dress in layers, and bring rain gear, a hat, appropriate footwear, food, water, reef-safe sunscreen, and sunglasses. If you bring a dog, it must stay leashed at all times. You’re asked to pick up after your pet and properly dispose of waste and other rubbish.

First Day Hikes occur in all 50 states to encourage the public to celebrate the new year with a guided outdoor exploration.

It began more than 25 years ago at a state park in Massachusetts.

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