Local Landmarks Make National Parks List

The National Park Service’s online travel itinerary recently added highlights of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage, covering 70 historic sites in 16 states and territories — including 27 locations in Hawaii.

On that list is Pu’u o Mahuka Heiau in Pupukea, a National Historic Landmark considered the largest heiau on Oahu. Overlooking Waimea Bay, online viewers are told, it “served a critical role in the religious, social, and political system of Waimea Valley, which once sustained a large population.” The description spans the history and significance of such Hawaiian shrines, estimating that Pu’u o Mahuka was constructed in the 1600s as a luakini heiau (for human and animal sacrifices). It’s open daily and offers interpretive signs and trails.

The travel itinerary highlights sites associated with Pacific Islanders’ accomplishments and struggles, according to NPS director Jonathan Jarvis. “For the early settlement of the country to the economic development of the American West,” Jarvis stated, “(Pacific Islanders) have played a significant role in the history of the United States.”

Other Oahu sites highlighted nearby include Huilua Fishpond in Kahana Bay, as well as Chinatown, ‘Iolani Palace and Washington Place. To access the website, go to nps.gov/nr/travel.