GateWay to Kōloa Field System
Hapa Trail bisected land that was classified by the State of Hawai’i and the County of Kaua’i as Agricultural and Open. In 1972, the landowner, Eric A. Knudsen Trust petitioned to have the land reclassified to resort and commercial use. As a condition of these new classifications and zoning, developers and the landowner, Knudsen Trust, were compelled by three ordinances to improve and maintain Hapa Trail (then known as Hapa Road).
In 1991 when the land east of Hapa Trail was reclassified and zoned for development, the Knudsen Estate, as a condition of this rezoning, agreed, at its own expense, to improve and maintain in perpetuity the Hapa Trail alignment from Po’ipü Road to Kōloa Town, primarily as a bike and pedestrian pathway for public use in perpetuity.
For over 40 years, the Kōloa Community has struggled to keep Hapa Trail for what it was intended to be and have the landowner and developers live up to their commitments. On August 8, 2007, the Kōloa Community Association gifted to the County of Kaua’i, the Kōloa-Po’ipü Area Circulation Plan, which was created through input of local residents, developers, the County and other stakeholders. The Plan agrees that the existing trail be a multi-use path that can accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. It recommends lush landscaping and restored rock walls.
The local community chose Hapa Trail as the Plan’s flagship project to connect communities, increase transportation and mobility options, preserve the area’s unique history, identity and culture, and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors Despite the resort, residential and commercial development since 1972, that has occurred on either side of Hapa, the trail has remained an overgrown path. Cactus, koa haole, guinea grass, invasive shrubs and weeds impede the pathway. The landowner and developers have ignored improvements and maintenance of Hapa Trail, and kept it on the back burner through a myriad of calculated moves.
In 2008, the Kōloa community decided to clean and maintain Hapa Trail and encourage the use of this dedicated pedestrian and bicycle pathway by residents and visitors alike. Hapa is a cultural and historical path that once connected the people of na ahupua’a of Kōloa and Weliweli. They were intensely cultivated, highly productive, flourishing with sugar cane, taro and sweet potatoes. Hapa Trail bisects the Kōloa Field System. The history of this field system is remarkable and related on the following pages. Archeologist tell us Hapa Trail was constructed over 150 years ago.
The Kōloa Community’s Hapa Trail Volunteers have established as its goal: the preservation and perpetuation of the ancient history of agriculture in the nä ahupua’a of Kōloa and Weliweli. The Kōloa archeological field systerm that lies between the Ha’upu Range and the Po’ipü-Kukui’ula coastline held, up to 1975, the richest of all remaining archeological agricultural sites in Hawai’i and the most advanced of all example of argricultural practices and production in ancient Polynesia.
Hapa Trail News
The Kōloa Community’s Hapa Trail Volunteers have established as its goal: The preservation and perpetuation of the ancient history of agriculture in the nä ahupua’a of Kōloa and Weliweli. The Kōloa archeological field system that lies between the Ha’upu Range and the Po’ipü-Kukui’ula coastline held, up to 1975, the richest of all remaining archeological agricultural sites in Hawai’i and the most advanced of all example of agricultural practices and production in ancient Polynesia.
Nä Mea Käko’o - Aloha to our sponsors who have extended their support and aloha to Hapa Trail
- Laura Fitzsimmons
- Hapa Trail Volunteers
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts
- Young Brothers
- Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation
- Cultural Surveys Hawai’i
- The McCaslin Company
- Po’ipü Beach Foundation
- Kōloa Community Association
- CopyCats Kaua’i
- The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
Mahalo a nui loa no na mea kako`o, no ko `oukou manawale`a aloha