Horseback Riding in Big Island
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With its paniolo (cowboy) heritage and the ranches it spawned, the Big Island is a great place for equestrians. Riders can gallop through green pastures, or saunter through Waipi‘o Valley for a taste of old Hawai‘i.
Going with a Guide
King's Trail Rides. A four-hour excursion ($135) down an old Hawaiian trail leads to a scenic, uncrowded spot near Kealakekua Bay for snorkeling and lunch. A mask and snorkel are provided. Hwy. 11, mile marker 111, Kealakekua, HI, 96750. 808/323–2388. www.konacowboy.com.
Waipio Ridge Stables. Two different rides around the rim of Waipio Valley are offered—a 2½-hour trek for $85 and a 5-hour hidden-waterfall adventure (with swimming) for $165. Lunch is included. The meeting point is Waipio Valley Artworks. 48-5416 Kukuihaele Rd., off Hwy. 240, Honokaa, HI, 96727. 808/775–1007 or 877/757–1414. www.waipioridgestables.com.
Cowboys of Hawaii. Take a horseback ride at historic Parker Ranch, one of the largest privately held cattle ranches in the country and the spot where paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) rode for the first time. Along the way, you might see some of the more than 5,000 head of Hereford cattle as they are driven down from the slopes of Mauna Kea. Morning and afternoon rides start at $79 per person. Parker Ranch, 67-133 Pukalani Rd., Waimea, HI, 96743. 808/885–5006. www.cowboysofhawaii.com.
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