Richardson’s Beach

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Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T! 

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After visiting Rainbow Falls, we headed south of Hilo, Hawaii to Richardson’s Beach to see one of the Big Island’s famed black sand beaches.

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The black sand is the result of the volcanic activity on the island. Lava flowing into the ocean cools rapidly and can fragment. The volcanic rock on the shorelines are also eroded by the waves.

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George Richardson was Chief Detective on the island in the 1920s. He helped the Malo family, who owned this land, get to the hospital when they were stricken with typhoid fever. In gratitude they gave him a parcel of their property so that he could build a house.

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Today, that house is Richardson’s Ocean Center and the beach is a public park with lifeguards on duty. It contains a marine conservation area with tide pools, spring-fed ponds and excellent snorkeling opportunities.

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We enjoyed swimming here. Should you visit this or any other black sand beach, be warned that the sand is extremely hot because it absorbs the sun’s rays just like asphalt does. Bring water shoes and your feet will thank you.

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Hilo Posts:

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Location: 2279 Kalanianaole Ave, Hilo, HI

Designation: Public Beach, County Park

Date of my visit: April 16, 2019

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18 thoughts on “Richardson’s Beach

  1. I remember as a child how enthralled I was with the black sand beaches. That they were formed directly from lava enchanted my mind, as I was then in love with all things volcano!

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