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Native Paths to Volunteer Trails

Native Paths to Volunteer Trails: Hiking and Trail Building on O‘ahu

Stuart M. Ball
Copyright Date: 2012
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  • Book Info
    Native Paths to Volunteer Trails
    Book Description:

    O'ahu has a varied, extensive, and distinctive network of mountain hiking trails. Stuart M. Ball, Jr., author ofThe Hikers Guide to O'ahu,explores the history behind many of the island's trails, beginning with early Hawaiians who blazed routes for traveling, plant and wood gathering, and bird catching. Sugar plantations constructed paths to access ditches that tapped stream water for thirsty cane. The U.S. Army built trails for training and island defense, while those developed by the Territorial Forestry Division and the Civilian Conservation Corps were mainly for reforestation and wild pig control. Most recently, volunteers and hiking clubs have created additional routes solely for recreation. The result of all this varied activity is a large network of just over a 100 mountain trails, a precious resource on a small, populous island.The book compiles the history of 50 of those trails. Most of them still exist, and many are open to the public. The trails are arranged by the group or organization that built them, moving from Hawaiian trails before 1800 to volunteer trails of the 1990s. Each chapter contains an overview that describes the background and purpose of the trail building during the period covered. The trail histories are self-contained, recording the major events from construction through 2010.Native Paths to Volunteer Trailswill allow fans of O'ahu's hiking trails-and Hawai'i history buffs-to trek into the past and learn about some of their favorite routes and research future ones.35 illus.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6569-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xiv)

    For such a small, populous island, O‘ahu has a varied, extensive, and distinctive network of mountain trails. Who developed those trails, and why and how did they build them? The story starts with the birth of the island and ends with trail crews of enthusiastic volunteers.

    Two volcanoes, Ko‘olau and Wai’anae, created O‘ahu several million years ago. Their rugged remnants remain as two parallel mountain ranges that dominate the topography and restrict human habitation to the lowlands. Early Hawaiians lived in the coastal areas and their associated watersheds. The current population of about a million is still concentrated near the...

  5. Hawaiian Trails (pre-1810)
    (pp. 1-28)

    Early Hawaiians developed trails to travel betweenahupua‘a(land divisions) and to fish, farm, and gather within theahupua‘a, each of which was self-sufficient and extended from the uplands to the ocean. Coastal routes connecting the land divisions were used by chiefs, commoners, and tax collectors. Thekonohiki(land manager) collected the annual tax, often of feathers,kapa(tapa) cloth,kalo(taro), orpua‘a(pig), and placed it along the trail on anahupua‘a(rock altar with a pig image) marking the boundary of the land division. As the coastal routes were usually rough and hot, chiefs and other high-ranking...

  6. Kama’āina and Club Trails (1842–1922)
    (pp. 29-69)

    Near old Honolulu andmauka(inland) of Waikīkī lies Mānoa, a broad and verdant valley backed by the Ko‘olau Range. In the 1700s, the valley supported a large population of Hawaiians growingkalo(taro), sweet potatoes, bananas, and sugar cane.¹ The main route into the valley climbed past Pu‘uo Mānoa (Rocky Hill) and then branched into two paths below a small knoll, known as Pu’u Pueo.² Native bird catchers, wood cutters, and plant gatherers developed an extensive trail network inmaukaMānoa, in the neighboring valleys of Pauoa and Pālolo, and in their surrounding heights. Routes led to the peaks...

  7. Sugar Plantation Trails (1898–1917)
    (pp. 70-101)

    In the late 1800s, the sugar industry in Hawai‘i was rapidly expanding for several reasons. In June 1876, King Kalakaua signed a reciprocity treaty with the United States allowing tax-free trading between the two countries. In 1890, the three McCandless brothers drilled a well on Ewa Plantation land to tap groundwater for sugar cane irrigation. In 1893, discontentedhaole(white) businessmen and public officials overthrew the Hawaiian kingdom, leading to its annexation by the United States in 1898. Sugar planters now had a ready market, a reliable source of water, and a congenial political climate.¹

    O‘ahu planters founded three major...

  8. Army and Territorial Forestry Division Trails (1909–1933)
    (pp. 102-148)

    By January 1909, the U.S. Army had infantry stationed at Fort Shafter, cavalry at Schofield Barracks, and engineers at Kalia Military Reservation (later Fort DeRussy). That year Company A, First Battalion, Second Volunteer Engineers began a survey of the entire island of O‘ahu. During the four-year project, Company A and its successors, Companies G and I, determined the boundaries of the new military reservations, looked for possible defensive sites, and produced a topographic map. In the mountains the engineers cut trails along many of the ridges to reach vantage points for triangulation surveying. The engineers were particularly interested in routes...

  9. Civilian Conservation Corps Trails (1933–1942)
    (pp. 149-214)

    Because of poor economic conditions, the Hawai‘i legislature reduced forestry appropriations by 75 percent in late May 1933. With money so tight, territorial forester Charles S. Judd and his younger brother, Governor Lawrence M. Judd, decided to apply for federal funds to continue forestry operations. On July 3, the governor sent a radiogram to Harold L. Ickes, secretary of the interior, requesting that Hawai‘i be included in the Emergency Conservation Work program (ECW).¹ The U.S. Congress had enacted ECW on March 31, 1933, ten days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed it. The act called for 250,000 unemployed men to...

  10. Volunteer Trails (1945–1998)
    (pp. 215-238)

    On May 9, 1968, more than fifty persons attended a meeting to establish a chapter of the Sierra Club in Hawai‘i. The group elected an executive committee chaired by photographer and author Robert (Bob) Wenkam, who was instrumental in the chapter’s founding. In April 1969, the club held its first outing, the Alewa-Kapalama loop, led by Peter Escherich, member of the executive committee and science teacher at Kamehameha School for Boys. One month later the chapter began publishing a monthly newsletter,Mālama I Ka Honua. In October, the club organized a group at the University of Hawai’i to get the...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 239-270)
  12. Index
    (pp. 271-280)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 281-283)