Lava Tree State Monument, Hawaii (Big Island)
This ohia tree rain forest was engulfed in lava in 1790. Although the trees themselves burned away, the molds of lava formed around the tree trunks and they are there today. There is an interesting 20 minute loop trail .
In front of the park the beautiful stretch of road is called the tree tunnel because of the arched monkey pod trees that arch overhead.
At night when you pass by there is a loud choir of tree frogs.
Lava Tree State Monument preserves the site where a lava flow burned through an ohia forest in 1790. The lava, flowing quickly from Kilauea's east rift zone, surrounded the trees and cooled forming molds of the burned tree trunks.
It's very interesting to walk around and see the old lava. An easy 0.7 mile loop guides you around. If you would like to walk further, a hiking trail leads through and around 17 acres of the preserved forest.
This is one of the most awesome historical lava sites I have seen yet. In the late 1700's lava forced it's way out at this park in Pahoa, then quickly withdrew back to the core where it came, leaving hardened lava covered trees and deep holes in the ground as reminders. There are tons of mosquitoes to go along with the plants here. There are several species of birds here, as well as the Ko kee frog that has become a nuisance. Walk the path to see for yourself how powerful the forces of nature really are.
If you're by Hilo and headed to the Puna Coast, there's an uncrowded unheralded state reserve known as Lava Trees state monument. Here you will find a forest of lava tree trunks that must be the bane of any termite's existence. Formed when hot, fast-running lava cooled as it hit the tree trunks in a mature forest and then quickly receded, Lava Tree State Monument is a unique American landscape. A 30-minute walk on a paved path will take you through several stands of these hard black phallic symbols -- definitely a pleasant break from the car. And the State moinument is free, so bring the family (as long as you don't let on the phallic nature of the items to the youngsters!).