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Tourists ruined this beautiful Hawaiian attraction — so it’s being demolished


Hikers in Hawaii will have to find a new way to reach the Heavens.

The legendary Haiku Staircase on Oahu, Hawaii will finally be demolished after tourists continued to trespass on the legendary landmark despite repeated warnings.

According to the Honolulu City Government, the iconic site will be torn down by the end of this month, making good on a motion that the city unanimously voted on in 2021.

“I can promise you that this was not a capricious decision,” Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a press release. “This was a decision, when we came into office, that was long overdue.”

The legendary Haiku Staircase in Oahu, HI. Anastasia – stock.adobe.com
“This decision that was made was predicated upon our respect for the people who live in and around the entrance to the stairs, our respect for our ʻāina (land and sea), and our respect for both the future and the past history of the culture of the Haʻikū community,” declared Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Alamy
Tourists and TikTokkers frequently trespassed on the site. maciek – stock.adobe.com

Often dubbed the “Stairway to Heaven,” the Haiku Staircase comprises a treacherously steep series of 3,922 steps that winds along a mountain range in Kaneohe, making hikers feel like they’re in the clouds.

Built during World War II by the US Navy, the landmark was shuttered in 1987 due to vandalism and littering. Any trespassers are currently liable for a $1,000 fine.

Despite the financial deterrent and the dangerous terrain, daredevils, sightseers and social media content creators continued to ascend the stairs.

In 2021, Hawaiian TikTokker Camille Leihulu posted a video chastising a travel TikToker, named Sofia McMillan who filmed herself allegedly accessing the feature.  

Hawaiian TikTokker Camille Leihulu criticizes travel influencer Sofia McMillan for allegedly ascending the stairs. TikTok / @camilleslagle

Council members claimed that the rampant trespassing made the Haiku Stairs an expensive and dangerous liability, and also encroached upon the local communities, among other factors, per the release.

“This decision that was made was predicated upon our respect for the people who live in and around the entrance to the stairs, our respect for our ʻāina (land and sea), and our respect for both the future and the past history of the culture of the Haʻikū community,” declared Mayor Blangiardi.

The demolition will reportedly take at least half a year and cost $2.5 million, the mayor’s office reported.

In the interim, it’s best that people steer clear of the staircase.

“While the actual removal of stairway modules will not begin until later this month, the modules are being prepared for removal and present an immediate safety threat for anyone trespassing along the trail,” officials warned in the release.




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