Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Makawao Forest Reserve Hike (and Bike)

Let’s say you want to go on a hike but not deal with the danger presented by lava fields, streams, waterfalls or cliffs. Nor do you want to be brutalized by the Hawaiian sun while you enjoy yourself. Hikers rejoice; the Makawao Forest Reserve trail (Kahakapao Recreational area) is for you!

Not to be confused with a MUCH shorter Waihou Spring trail a little bit to the west, the Kahakapao Recreational area in the Makawao Forest provides what amounts to a non-technical 6.2 mile walk in the woods through slightly varying terrain that rarely exceeds a 10 degree incline. This isn’t a particularly exciting trail visually speaking; it’s simple forestry with no views of the ocean as you can see from my pictures. (This is probably why it took me a while to get around to this hike.) Since this area is upcountry, it is definitely cooler than the coastal region and as such is prone to more rain. So, there is the occasional bit of mud to whet your whistle if you’re into that sort of thing. For the casual hiker, this is probably your best bet on Maui.

The trail is a loop trail with bike trails that for the most part parallel it (they occasionally cross paths.)
Haole in a tree.
Since the eastern/clockwise part of the loop is a little less steep – not that 7-10 percent incline is steep – my wife and I elected to go this route. Upon concluding the trail, I also felt that this side of the loop is a little more scenic and quieter as well, as some houses can be found across a ravine on the western portion of the trail.

While you may certainly hike, be aware that this is trail is equally well-known for its mountain biking, so watch out for downhill racers who aren’t on the specifically designated bike trails. While we didn’t see any more bikers than we did hikers, the bikers don’t always bother with the bike bells offered at the trail head so keep your eyes and ears peeled. Besides straight and speedy down-hills for bikers to enjoy, they also have a children’s and novice warm-up areas and ramps and such for more advanced bikers to enjoy.

Overall, this trail is relaxed in its meandering with the wonderful scent of eucalyptus trees in the air. Personally, I will be headed back to this trail but with my bike so I can add at least a small element of danger. Either hiking or biking, this is a quaint little place.  

Directions: From Paia, take Baldwin Ave. up the mountain into Makawao. At the first major crossroad in Makawao, hang a left onto Makawao Ave (where there’s a Mexican restaurant across the street on the corner). Travel east, and take the right immediately after the cemetery – this is Piiholo Rd. When you see a gated park on your right there is a fork that goes to the left; take this left fork. Follow this windy road until you have to make a right onto Kahakapao Rd. Keep going until you go through the yellow gates and you will soon make a right into a gravel parking lot.

For a map of what I am talking about, click HERE.

For a map of the trail, click HERE
Biker getting warmed up.

More advanced biker warm-up area.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Haleakala Hiking

The team and I headed into the crater for two days, staying first at Kapalaoa Cabin then Paliku Cabin. The weather was clear most of the time and warmer than usual. We got a good view of the stars the first night, not so much the second night at Paliku. Best part of the trip, though, we know where the cave is.

Here's a link to the video. 

What say you, NeNe?