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About Onomea Bay on Hilo & East Island, Hawaii

Onomea Bay is a popular hiking destination north of Hilo. It has a series of trails that lead down to the shore at a couple picturesque coves on the bay.

The trails that explore Onomea Bay are known as the Onomea Trail and the Donkey Trail. Together they are only a half mile long, but side trails branch off toward the ocean which add to the mileage and the adventure. You’ll have fun exploring the coves and the shoreline, but watch for large waves which can hit unexpectedly. Bring sturdy shoes to hike in as it can be muddy and rocky in places. Starting on the Onomea Trail (the southern trailhead) is recommended if you can find parking there.

The trailheads for the Onomea Trail System are located along a section of the Old Mamalahoa Highway that is known as the Onomea Scenic Route. To get there, drive north on the Belt Road (Highway 19) for about five miles from the waterfront in Hilo. Look for a large blue sign that says “Scenic Route 4 Miles Long” and turn right there. The first trailhead is located just over one mile from your turn where you’ll find a few signs about the trail. Look for parking spaces along the road shoulder and make sure your car is as far off as possible.

If you want to extend your hike, the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden is nearby and has around one mile of trails that meander through dense foliage on both sides of the Onomea Trail System. HTBG has a separate entrance on the road between the Onomea and Donkey Trail trailheads. The entrance fees vary so see their website for current prices. The botanical gardens are open every day from 9am-5pm.

27-717 Old Mamalahoa Hwy
Papaikou, HI 96781
Park Name
Onomea Trail System
Other Names
Alakahi Stream, Onomea Stream, Kahalii, Kukilu
Pet Details
Dogs allowed on leash
Free parking
Hiking, Beach Exploration
Trails, Streams, Coves, Botanical Garden, No facilities on trails
12:04 am, April 12, 2024
temperature icon 71°F
L: 71° H: 75°
Feels like 72.03 °F overcast clouds
Wind gusts: 2 m/s
UV Index: 0
Precipitation: 0.01 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:04 am
Sunset: 6:37 pm
Humidity 92 %
Pressure1018 mb
Wind 2 m/s

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