Within the Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland subdivisions, most people walk to ocean pools, the bay or just stroll through the neighborhood. It is safe to walk in the streets. Drivers largely honor the 15 mph speed limit and move aside and slow down for walkers. If a reminder is needed, there are frequent speed bumps.
Generally, there is good access to the ocean throughout the two Kapoho subdivisions. Please do not walk through private yards to reach the ocean. Trespassing is not necessary or appreciated.
The Kapoho Beach Lots subdivision is gated, requiring day visitors to walk from the gate to access the ocean along community streets. The ocean access points are signed on the roads. The south side of Kapoho Bay, along Alapai Point Road, does not have any public access to the ocean, however.
In Vacationland, ocean access is along Waiopae Street. The community has provided a parking area along the shoreline for day visitors to access the popular tide pools ($3/car donation). Three other access points are on Waiopae Street at the intersections of Kapoho Kai, Kaheka, and Kahonua Streets. From the access near Kahonua Street the trail leads to the ocean, past ancient Hawaiian ruins (please, be respectful and do not disturb). At low tide the shoreline may be followed to the Kaheka Street access point.
If you are a day visitor driving into Vacationland, please remember you are a guest and once you leave the highway you are on private roads and property. Park only in designated areas and access the ocean at designated locations! The roads are maintained entirely at the expense of the community ($3/car donation is requested).
In Kapoho, access to the ocean can be gained by short walks. However, there are several worthwhile hikes in and near Kapoho.
1960 Lava Flow
From the Beach Lots subdivision and Kumukahi Light House, there are trails and 4X4 roads through the 1960 lava flow to the ocean. The shoreline can be followed along those paths for several miles.
Near the north end of the Kapoho-Kalapana Road (Highway 137 at mile post 8, across from the KBC road to the Beach Lots subdivision), a trail leads to Green Lake and an overlook of Kapoho. There is a charge for hiking the trail, which is on private land. For entry, call the number on the gate or come on Friday to the Green Lake fruit stand, when the gate is open, and talk to Smiley.
McKenzie State Park
Hike along the cliffs and watch the crashing surf. You may encounter fishermen, especially on weekends, casting their lines off the cliffs.
The Park is located on Highway 137 between mile posts 13 and 14.
From the south end of the Kapoho-Kalapana Road (Highway 137 past mile post 22), a trail provides access across a recent lava flow (ca. 1990) to a new black sand beach (generally not safe for swimming). The lower extent of the beach has eroded away, leaving boulders at low tide.
From the parking area at Kalapana, follow the red cinder trail toward the ocean and some distant small palm trees, which have been planted by locals to begin to restore Kalapana .
Active Lava Flow
Depending on conditions, hike to the active lava flow. Currently, it is a several mile trip across rough terrain with no shade and potentially dangerous conditions (tours are available, & suggested).
The hike starts near Kalapana at the south end of Highway 130.
A most enjoyable way to explore the Kapoho neighborhoods and farms, and find beach access, is by bike on local roads (see "Services" for bike rentals). The terrain is gentle with only occasional short climbs. Most roads are paved (or well graded through the local farms). There are no bike lanes; however the little traffic is slow-moving. The highway requires greater caution as it, too, lacks bike lanes, and there is more traffic moving much faster.