OHE October 28, 1999 (Piko Trail)

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 16:02:30 -1000
From: Stuart Ball
Subject: Re: Piko Trail

Last Sunday Lynne and I hiked the Makua Rim Trail from the tracking station. Just before reaching the short trail down to the Mokule`ia picnic shelter, we passed two Norfolk Island (Cook?) pines. Several articles in the HTMC archives mentioned that those trees were planted by General and Mrs. Bryant H. Wells during the early 1930s. Supposedly, a plaque was placed nearby to commemorate the event. The twin pines mark the start of the Piko Trail, which descended the cliffs into Makua Valley and out to the beach. The trail was abandoned at some point when the Army began using the valley as a firing range. Piko was also the name of a hiking club of Army officers during the 30s. Piko has several meanings in Hawaiian, including navel and summit of a mountain.

At the site I didn't see any plaque, but on the trunk of the tree nearest the junction are two old, broken metal tags with the words "LAND PINE" and "10, 1932". The NI pines must have been planted on the 10th day of some month in 1932. The tags must have been put up later as it would be difficult to affix them to a seedling. Anyone know anything else?

Next time you are in the area, check out this little piece of hiking history. Be careful of the tags as they are quite fragile.

The Makua Rim Trail is somewhat overgrown from the Makua overlook to the trail down to the shelter with uluhe and oi. Along the way we met 3 hunters with 2 dead pigs, flushed a half dozen cackling francolins, saw a perfect rainbow over the north shore, and generally had a good time.

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