Our Vision

Connect our community, mauka to makai


At Waimea Trails and Greenways, our vision is to create a seamless and safe multimodal trail system that connects the heart of Waimea to the stunning coastline, integrating with the historic Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail system. This initiative, known as Ke Ala Kahawai O Waimea (The Streamside Trail of Waimea), aims to provide an accessible and sustainable transportation and recreation option for all community members. Our trail will bridge the gap between neighborhoods, schools, commercial centers, and the natural beauty of our environment, enhancing the quality of life for everyone in our community.

How the trail is divided up

The Waimea Trails and Greenways project is strategically divided into five increments, each designed to progressively enhance connectivity, safety, and accessibility throughout Waimea. Each increment builds upon the previous, ensuring that the benefits are realized progressively, and the community enjoys enhanced transportation and recreational options with each phase completed.

Increment 1 - Lindsey Road to Kahawai Street

History of Increment 1

Increment 1 of the Waimea Trails and Greenways project represents the heart and soul of our vision. Built by dedicated volunteers over the past 30 years, this 1.1-mile portion of the trail stretches from Lindsey Road to Kahawai Street. Known as Ke Ala Kahawai O Waimea (The Streamside Trail of Waimea), this section has been painstakingly maintained by our community members, who have invested countless hours in its upkeep. As the main thoroughfare of our trail system, Increment 1 is heavily used by the community, providing a vital space for recreation, exercise, and connection with nature.

The Current Status

Currently, Increment 1 is a mix of wood chips and dirt paths, requiring constant maintenance to remain usable. While beloved by many, this section of the trail is not fully accessible to all members of our community, particularly those with disabilities. The uneven surface and frequent upkeep needed to address erosion and overgrowth pose challenges to ensuring a safe and inclusive environment for all users. Despite these challenges, the trail continues to serve as a crucial recreational and commuting pathway for Waimea residents.

Upgrades and Improvements

In 2024, the County of Hawai'i submitted a proposal to the RAISE program to upgrade this portion of the trail. Detailed information about this proposal can be found here.

Current trail denoted in blue

Increment 2 - Kahawai St to Transfer Station

Increment 2 of the Waimea Trails and Greenways project will extend the trail from the Kahawai St to the Transfer Station. The extension will also include rest areas and scenic overlooks, allowing users to enjoy the natural beauty of Waimea. The trail will seamlessly integrate with the existing landscape, preserving the environment while enhancing usability.

This extension is crucial for improving connectivity and accessibility within Waimea. By linking more residential areas to the main trail, Increment 2 will provide residents with a safe and convenient non-motorized transportation option, promoting health, wellness, and a stronger sense of community. Additionally, the trail extension will connect to a proposed future county park near the Transfer Station, further enhancing recreational opportunities and providing a central gathering space for the community.

Proposed increment 2 alignment denoted in blue

Increment 3 - Transfer Station to 'Ōuli Park

Increment 3 of the Waimea Trails and Greenways project will extend the trail approximately 1.5 miles from the Transfer Station to 'Ōuli Park, which is currently inaccessible. This extension will significantly enhance the connectivity and usability of the trail system, providing a safe route on Kawaihae Road across from Kamuela View Estates.

In addition to the pedestrian and cyclist pathways, there is a possibility of incorporating an equestrian trail, allowing horseback riders to enjoy the trail as well. This multi-use approach will cater to a broader range of users, enhancing the community's recreational opportunities. The extension will feature native Hawaiian plants and seamlessly integrate with the natural landscape, preserving the beauty of Waimea while providing valuable recreational space for residents and visitors alike.

Increment 4 - Expansion towards Church Row

Increment 4 of the Waimea Trails and Greenways project aims to extend the trail from the current terminus at Lindsay Road to Church Row, a historic and cultural hub in Waimea. This extension is more than just a path; it is a vital connection to the heart of our community and its rich heritage. By linking the trail to Church Row, we are creating a corridor that weaves through the very fabric of Waimea's history and daily life.

This scenic and educational route will feature historical markers and informational plaques, providing insights into the area's cultural significance. As users travel along this extension, they will be immersed in the stories and traditions that have shaped Waimea. Church Row, with its charming historic churches and vibrant community events, represents a central gathering place for residents. By connecting the trail to this pivotal area, Increment 4 will serve as a crucial artery to the community's cultural and social activities.

Increment 5 - Ouli Park to the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail

Increment 5 of the Waimea Trails and Greenways project represents the culmination of our grand vision to create a continuous, awe-inspiring trail from mauka to makai. This final phase will extend the trail from 'Ōuli Park all the way to the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail along the coast. By doing so, we will realize a trail that seamlessly traverses the diverse landscapes of Waimea, connecting the lush uplands with the pristine coastline.

This extension embodies the grandeur and ambition of our vision, providing a majestic route that showcases the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Big Island. As users journey from the mountains to the sea, they will experience a variety of ecosystems, from verdant forests and lava fields to coastal beaches. The trail will offer stunning vistas and unique encounters with native Hawaiian plants and wildlife, making every step a memorable adventure.