Wailoa River State Recreation Area
About Wailoa River State Recreation Area on Hilo & East Island, Hawaii
Wailoa River State Recreation Area is a large park surrounding Waiakea Pond right in the center of Hilo. It’s an excellent place for a long scenic walk and has quite a few sights to see. The pond is connected to the ocean by a waterway that starts nearby on Hilo Bay.
The east side of the park has a large parking lot with an entrance from Piilani Street. On that side you’ll find ample picnic facilities, walking paths, and a boat ramp. The west side of the park is entered from Piopio Street and is signed “Wailoa Center”. There you’ll find a Korean War Memorial, a Vietnam Memorial, the Shinmachi Tsunami Memorial, and Wailoa Art Center, a free public facility that hosts art galleries and cultural exhibits. From the park’s west side an undulating pedestrian bridge goes over to the north side of the park where you’ll find a statue of Kamehameha The Great.
The estuary in this park includes Waiakea Pond and Wailoa River and it opens up to the ocean at Hilo Bay next to Hilo Bayfront Beach. The water-use rules vary for the north and south parts of this estuary. Waiakea Pond and Waiakea Public Fishing Area is defined as the area south of the east-west undulating footbridge that crosses over a small island. In the “pond”, swimming and any other activity requiring immersion in the water is prohibited. But fishing is allowed from shore or from a non-motorized boat that is wooden or “unsinkable”. Signs in the area describe the fishing rules clearly (see our photos). North of the east-west footbridge the water is considered Wailoa River, an area where kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are allowed.
Wailoa River State Recreation Area is only open for day use so camping is not allowed. Dogs and alcoholic drinks are also prohibited in the park. Park hours are 7am to 8pm daily.
- Piilani St & Mililani St
Hilo, HI 96720
- Park Name
- Wailoa River State Park, Wailoa Center, Waiakea Public Fishing Area
- Other Names
- Waiakea Pond, Waiolama Canal, Waiakea Stream, Alenaio Stream, Mahohuli Fish Pond
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed on leash
- Free parking
- Walking, Fishing, Picnicking, Sightseeing
- Tidal Pond, River, Grass Lawns, Restrooms, Paths, Boat Ramp, Picnic Tables, Covered Pavilion, Drinking Water, ADA Access, Benches
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