THE NATURE CONSERVANCY OF HAWAII
The Conservancy's literature states: "In the West Maui
mountains, overlooking sugar cane fields and hotel resorts,
hides an ecological oasis and a biological treasure:
Kapunakea Preserve. With 11 different native natural
communities, Kapunakea Preserve (1,264 acres) exemplifies
the extraordinary concentration of biological diversity that
is Hawai'i." Access to the Preserve is limited to guided
hikes by the Nature Conservancy staff and volunteers.
(Voluntary monthly work trips are offered by the Nature
Conservancy.) For more information, please visit their site.
LAHAINA PALI TRAIL
Even before Hawaii became an island kingdom, stone pathways
encircled each island, connecting the scattered villages.
Some of these pathways, like the Lahaina Pali Trail, are
still in existence. The trail, which was opened to the
public in 1997, is five miles long and zigzags up and over
the dry West Maui Mountains, connecting Ma'alaea to Lahaina.
Built for horses and foot traffic more than 200 years ago,
the trail follows an even older trail that was part of the
alaloa, the "long road" that once circled Maui. Hawaii's
ali'i, or royalty, traveled the alaloa each year when they
went from village to village during the Makahiki, a
four-month period when war ceased and sporting and religious
events took over. The Lahaina Pali Trail is not for novice
hikers. Hot and arid, the trail climbs to 1,600 feet,
rewarding those who brave it with panoramic views of the
coastline and ocean. Hikers are asked not to disturb
archeological sites or to collect artifacts. Unpaved parking
areas are available at both ends of the trail. It is
advisable to be met at the end of the trail. An
interpretative guide, "Tales From the Trail," is available
at no cost from the Department of Land and Natural
Resources, 200 High St. in Wailuku. The booklet advises
hiking with a partner, carrying sufficient food and water
and being prepared for changing weather. It also contains
detailed directions on how to reach the trailhead and
parking areas. It is recommended that hikers begin at the
Ukumehame (western) trailhead.
In ancient times, the only means man had to record his
thoughts was to scratch pictures onto rock. The soft lava
found here made an excellent tablet for such drawings. One
of the petroglyphs show several figures grouped together and
are thought to depict a family. The human figures with large
bodies are probably the Ali'i (royalty) and the stick
figures may be the commoners. Many different animals, canoes
and tools are also depicted.
south on Highway 30 toward Kahului, look for the Olowalu
General Storeand Chez Paul Restaurant located at Mile Marker
#15. Directly behind the store and to the left is a silver
water tower. Take the dirt road on the north side of the
water tower toward Olowalu Valley. 1/4 mile down the road is
a large mound of rock on the right. Look for the faded "red
handrail" and remnants from an old staircase located on the
sheer cliff wall. Petroglyphs begin near ground level and
continue along the ridge to about 60-feet above the ground.
Useful Information: DO NOT use the hand rail, stairs and
remainder of a viewing platform. It is rusted, unstable and
unsafe. DO NOT climb on the rocks, touch or damage the area
in any way. This is a historical site. View the drawings
from the ground only.
HAWAII STATE DEPARTMENT OF
LAND & NATURAL RESOURCES
Division of Forestry & Wildlife
54 South High Street Wailuku, HI 96793
Tel. (808) 984-8100
Free Maui hiking trail information including information on
the state Na Ala Hele trail system and free recreation maps.
HAWAII STATE PARKS
Dept. Of Land & Natural Resources
54 South High Street, Rm. 101 Wailuku, HI 96793
Tel. (808) 984-8109
Hours: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (Closed Weekends and State
Holidays) Information and free site maps on hiking in Maui's
MAUI COUNTY PARKS
Department of Parks and Recreation
1580C Kaahumanu Avenue Wailuku, HI 96793
Tel. (808) 243-7389
Hours: 7:45 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri. (Closed
weekends/holidays) Free information on Maui's county parks.
NATURE CONSERVANCY OF HAWAII
81 Makawao Avenue, Suite 203A Makawao, HI
Tel. (808) 572-7849
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, a non-profit organization,
has several preserves on Maui including the Kapunakea
Preserve, and the Waikamoi Preserve. The Conservancy's
mission is to protect the finest remaining examples of
native plants, animals and natural communities in Hawaii by
protecting the places they need to survive. Call for
information on hikes, volunteer work trips, and memberships,
or visit their site.