Jury finds state owns historic trail on Maui ranch
WAILUKU, Maui — A jury has found that a section of historic trail that crosses Maui’s largest family-owned cattle ranch belongs to the state.
The decision could clear the way for more public access on the 3-mile section of trail that cuts across Haleakala Ranch.
The Maui News reports that after six weeks of hearings, jurors determined Wednesday that the government built the trail before the Great Mahele land division of 1848. That means the trail is considered a public highway under the Highways Act of 1892.
Public Access Trails Hawaii filed the suit in 2011. This verdict will lead to a second trial phase to determine how much trail access the state gives the public. An attorney for the nonprofit says he hopes that phase begins in the next six months.