Visitor Friendly Hikes Around the Valley Isle

Olinda: Waihou Spring Trail

Tucked away high above Makawao and just below the cloud line of Mount Haleakala at 3,820 feet is the Waihou Spring Trail or Olinda Forest as the locals like to call it, the hike is a very easy one considering other hikes across Maui. Spanning a 186 acre grove of pine trees, is a loop trail that provides easy and serene walking among the songs of birds and cool mountain air. The Waihou Spring Forest Reserve is actually a man made trail which makes it very doable for all ages; if you notice the trees towards the entrance of the trail are planted very symmetrically to each other, whereas naturally growing trees are not as uniform in how they are dispersed. It was created by a proclamation from governor of the Hawaiian territory in 1909. The air at this higher elevation provides a great change of climate for an afternoon walk in the forest, and is only 10 miles from the beaches of the North Shore.

Waihe’e Ridge Trail

Over the last few years or so, the Waihe’e Ridge Trail has been gaining popularity among visitors. Waihe’e usually isn’t one of the first hiking destinations on Maui many think of, but its recent rise is due to its location and spectacular views. This ridge hike is part of the state of Hawaii’s Na Ala Hele trail system on the town side of the West Maui Mountains; as a state trail, it will be very well maintained, well marked, and incredibly hard to get lost on. From every direction on the trail, hikers are treated to  a different view – lush rainforest valley, Makamakaole Falls in the distance, and many spectacular views of the ocean, isthmus and Haleakala side of Maui. Note: the trailhead is the uphill gate and starts at Camp Maluhia above Mendes Ranch. 

Wailuku: Iao Valley State Park

Probably Maui’s most iconic and well known hiking trail, Iao Valley State Park is rich in Hawaiian history.  In 1790, King Kamehameha I led his troops into the Battle of Kepaniwai against Maui’s army in his quest to unite the islands; Kamehameha defeated Maui’s forces in a ferocious battle that ultimately changed the course of Hawaiian history.

The park is easily accessible by car or tour companies, has paved walkways, steps, and signage with historical information; it is also extremely scenic and particularly well suited for older folks and kids because of how quickly the trail loop can be done.

Road to Hana: Twin Falls

Twin Falls has an access road for residents that travels the better part of a mile alongside Ho’olawa Stream that is home to multiple waterfalls that makes up Twin falls. The lower falls are close to the entrance and relatively easy to access.; they’re a bit smaller, but picturesque and often overlooked. The main attraction is further down the trail and this is the waterfall that is in most of the images (Caveman Falls). This pond is much larger than the first and is usually more crowded than the previous falls because it is an enjoyable swimming and relaxing area. To find Caveman Falls, follow the gravel road 3/4 of a mile passing driveways and farm trails until you reach the forest . Please be respectful and stay on the road. At the three way intersection, take a left and follow the rocky path. Be advised… This is a more difficult path due to uneven, rocky and slippery terrain as well as other hazards…

Note: Please be aware of unsafe high water or flash-flooding that may be present during periods of heavy extended rainfall. Signs are frequently posted at the entry gate during these times.

Contact a South Maui Real Estate Specialist

Please consider me to be your trusted Maui real estate and lifestyle adviser. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Don’t hesitate to call me for your any of your Maui real estate needs as I would be honored to assist you in your home search.


Anthony Sayles R(S)

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