Dogs No Dogs
Birding · Geological Significance · Historical Significance · Views
Need to Know
While the trail passes through the shade of the canopy above you, make sure you bring appropriate sun protection for your time on the beach as the sun beats down on you and there is no shade. There is also no water, so make sure you have appropriate supplies for the time you plan to spend on the rocky beach. There is only one bus that services the Vatia area, so you may have to wait an hour or more if you choose to ride the bus from Pago Pago.
The trail is an old road, so it is flat and fairly free of obstacles. It is a good little run out to the water from the elementary school.
The Pola Island Trail leads out to a rocky beach where you can watch waves crash against the shore and get views of Pola Island. You can park at the Tuafanua trailhead and run past the school and follow the dirt and gravel road. Even though the National Park Service materials warn of an unfriendly dog, the dog that was causing problems is no longer an issue. There are a couple of dogs around, but they won't bother you if you stay on the road.
The trail moves under the shade of trees and leads to a small parking area where there are 3 informational signs talking about the role of plants and animals in the Samoan culture. From here, its a 200 foot run out to the beach, where a marker lists the strait in front of you as a National Historic Landmark. To the left, you can see Pola Island and if you watch closely, you can see various types of birds coming and going from the island, which is an excellent nesting area for them.
You can run on the rocks to the right to get better views of Pola Island. Waves crash against the beach and if you are lucky, you may be the only one there so you can just take in the peace and quiet. No noise from boats, planes or cars, so you get to listen to the sounds of the jungle and ocean that are all around you. After taking in the views, you can return to the car via the path that you traveled.
Flora & Fauna
You can see all types of birds as they soar overhead and around Pola Island. Crabs can be seen scurrying through the rocks on the beach, and various lizards and frogs can be seen along the trail. The trail passes through the rainforest, so you can see flowering plants, coconut trees, ferns, and other plants native to the island.
Shared By: David Hitchcock