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Dog plunges from 4,000-step staircase on illegal hike with owner, Hawaii officials say

A dog took a 50-foot fall while trekking an illegal Hawaii trail with its owner, officials said.
A woman was hiking in Kaneohe when her 55-pound dog fell off the Stairway to Heaven Trail on Sept. 4, the Honolulu Fire Department said in a news release.
The trail, a nearly 4,000-step staircase known as the Haiku Stairs, was closed to the public in 1987 and is considered “extremely dangerous,” according to the travel website Only in Your State.
The woman was able to go off trail and reach her dog, officials said.
Using the woman’s geolocation on her phone, rescuers said they sent ground and air teams to search for the woman.
Officials said rescuers searching by air spotted the woman near a waterfall.
The woman and dog, who were not injured, were flown from the area, according to officials.
Though the stairs are illegal to climb, it hasn’t stopped people from doing so, Travel + Leisure reported. As a result of “soaring security costs,” the Honolulu City Council voted to remove the stairs in September 2021.
“We recognize the interest the stairs have to certain community groups, however issues such as trespassing, personal injuries, invasive species and overall safety of the public cannot be ignored,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi told KHON2. “Fundamentally, it is inappropriate to have a high-use tourist attraction entering through this residential neighborhood, which lacks in the capacity to provide appropriate facilities or parking.”
The city in July picked a contractor to get rid of the stairs, the outlet reported.
While hiking the staircase is illegal, there is a longer hiking route that takes visitors to the top of the mountain and stairs, according to the travel website Denny and Nikki.
“The trail is long and strenuous but offers amazing views of the Moanalua valley,” the website said.
Kaneohe is about 10 miles northeast of Honolulu.
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