About

Vision

People of all walks of life, and of all ages, will use Hawaii’s diverse and safe trails, paths and bikeways in their day to day lives.

Paths have become the preferred link for Hawaii’s people, because they provide easy and safe connections between homes, businesses, schools, shopping, and other commuter oriented destinations.

As a result of these trails, community bonds have strengthened and both children and adults are more physically and mentally healthy.

Residents and visitors are more culturally sensitive because they are given the opportunity to travel in the same way as Hawaii’s first people, and at the same time have been educated about Hawaiian history, traditions, and customs.

Hawaii’s ecosystems and many unique plants, birds and insects are thriving because of the improved path systems have reversed urban sprawl, which plagued the islands for decades.

PATH uses the best of modern technology by providing digital resources for walkers, bikers and others including a GPS activated, searchable database for Hawaii’s trails.

Genesis

Public Access Trails Hawaii (PATH) was founded in early 2007. The organization was founded by David Brown (founding member of the Maui Chapter of the Sierra Club and member of the Maui Advisory Committee of Na Ala Hele, Hawaii’s Trail and Access System), Joe Bertram (Hawaii Representative and greenways advocate) and Ken Schmitt (owner of Hike Maui) to focus on protecting public access to historical, cultural and other trails in Hawaii through research, education and advocacy.

Initial Goals and Activities

  • Research and identify existing trails legally owned by the state or county but which are not open to the public either because the trail was forgotten or never improved (for example, where the county required a private landowner to dedicate a path for shoreline access, but the access was never improved by the landowner or the county);
  • Devise solutions to difficult issues such as landowner liability, trail stewardship and multiple or incompatible use problems (such as cultural versus other uses);
  • Where other approaches fail, seek political or judicial assistance to assure that trails owned by the state or traditionally used for cultural activities are reopened to the appropriate users.

While PATH has initiated work on several projects, it continues to focus its efforts on accumulating information to assist it in offering the best solutions and assuring its charitable work complements the work of government agencies and nonprofit organizations with related or overlapping missions. To that end, PATH has been identifying and consulting with governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, commercial operators and other community groups that work on recreational or cultural access issues, such as shoreline access, walking and hiking trails, bikeways, greenways and other trails or paths.