Lava Tree State Monument
Welcome to the Lava Tree State Monument, a public park that sits just 2.7 miles southeast of Pahoa in the Puna District of the Island of Hawaii. Right off of Pahoa-Puhoiki Road, this park reserves lava molds of tree trunks that were formed by a lava flow in 1790.
In 1790 the east rift of Kilauea imploded, causing a massive lava flow to erupt and engulf a nearby forested area. The pahoehoe, or smooth, lava reached depths of 10 feet in some areas, instantly freezing (pun intended) the trees in time. The entire site is an excellent example of a lava tree forest and you can explore it via a short and easy 0.7-mile loop trail.
It will take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete the loop trail, in which you will go through an impressive jungle of vining plants, orchids, bamboo, and 'bulbous black stumps partially covered in small green plants'. The Ohia trees, now lava trees, are said to be the personal artwork of Pele, the volcano goddess. Many locals refer to this spot as Pele's Sculpture Garden, a gorgeous piece of geological artwork you won't want to miss during your big island visit.