Makawao Forest Reserve

Makawao Forest Reserve: Address, Makawao Forest Reserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Makawao Forest Reserve
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
66 reviews
Excellent
41
Very good
22
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Lynne A
Los Angeles, CA1,762 contributions
Friends
An hour away from the beach you can find a dense forest up in the mountains from Maui. Bumpy road but good parking. A couple of portable lavatories at the start. Several different hikes or mountain bike rides are not too hard. A little slippery but absolutely beautiful. The densest first on the island. We saw deer on the ride up but no animals except for an amazing chameleon.
Written December 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AndyGloria
Pickering, Canada128 contributions
Couples
.Largest concentration of trails on Maui. Well maintained and easy to follow. You can hike as short or long as you want. Some trails are shared with mountain bikes but they have a lot of their own dedicated trails as well. Trails are all heavily forested so good place to get out of the sun
Written March 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Victoriatravelers
Victoria, Canada289 contributions
Couples
We were sitting on a beach one day and looking for some sort of hike that would take us into the forest in hopes it would be cooler. We found this hike and decided to give it a go. The road up to the park has a lot of sharp corners, and is very steep. Roots from the large tree's that line the road have caused the road to buckle in quite a few places making for some pretty significant speed-bumps. Passing vehicles on some parts is very interesting. There are no washrooms anywhere near this park (unless you like peeing in the bush...then you're fine!). There is reasonable parking at the entry to the park and it's easy to find. As for the hike, you can do a very casual loop through the pine trees and a wide, well groomed trail, or take the steep trails down towards the riverbed. The upper loop is a pretty casual walk, and is fine for most fitness levels. The hike down is not too long, but is quite a hike and you need decent footwear. Lots of debris on the path made it slippery. Everything was dry while we were there, so we didn't get to swim in the pool at the bottom of the trail as we'd hoped. But it was neat to see. Lava tubes (you can't enter them, too small) but it shows how porous the face of the wall is, and I'm sure it's a beautiful waterfall when it rains. We found it very unusual to find such a forest on Maui, and it felt like home. It was about 10 degree's cooler up in this pine forest, so being it was July, we appreciated the reprieve. Saw some neat birds. Definitely unlike the other forests on Maui!
Written September 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Makawao101
Makawao, HI5 contributions
Family
From Makawao Avenue go up Olinda Rd (a.k.a. Baldwin Ave). Soon after you pass the bird sancturary on your left, you will arrive at the forest reserve, it will be on your right. If you are going up Piiholo Rd. at the end of Piiholo you will find Olinda Rd. Turn right, go down 1/4 mi and do not blink... the forest reserve will be on your left.
Written May 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

karenm20183
Birch Bay, WA3 contributions
Couples
My partner and I hiked the Kahakapao Trail yesterday, February 13, 2019. There are trees and foliage down all along the trail as a result of a major wind storm last Sunday. Trail conditions gets worse the further you are from the parking lot with big sections of the trail completely covered by downed trees and foliage. At one point we had to climb over several downed trees that were on a steep slope that looked like it might slide at any time. We saw evidence that they have started to work on clearing the trail, but it will be a huge job!
Written February 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

travlinmom1429
Los Angeles, CA143 contributions
Couples
On a very windy day, we decided to skip the beach and try this hike. The directions to the trail outlined in the prior post from Bob S, are very good.

The trail is about .5 miles from parking lot. The sign says 6.2 miles for the loop, but we got more like 5.5 miles. We are in decent shape and it took about 2 hours to do the hike. It’s a relatively easy meandering trail. You can’t go too fast as the mud makes it slippery. Honestly, it is a very pretty setting, but kind of monotonous. There are no waterfalls or beautiful views. Take note that it’s about 15 degrees cooler than at sea level.

For bike riders, there are lots of obstacle courses and bike trails.

If you need a break from the beach, and want to burn off a mai tai, give this hike a try.
Written January 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SteveFawley
Seal Beach, CA142 contributions
Friends
WOW!!!!!!!! What a beautiful Forest. We went for the 6 mile hike in the morning and it was simply breath taking. It amazes me to be on a tropical island in the middle of the pacific and hike in the pine trees. I recommend everyone who visits Maui take the time to go for a walk in this forest.
Written April 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elizabeth J
Carpinteria, CA77 contributions
Solo
I took this hike after it had been raining, and it did rain on me during as well. The path is soft underfoot, and fairly flat, but be aware of the roots jutting out. Otherwise this is actually a fairly easy hike for the average hiker. You do gain about 1000 ft of elevation, it seemed that if you take the loop to the west and drop back down via the east loop, that the incline is steeper but possibly shorter to the top. At least that was how I felt.

The trees and plants are beautiful. Do not expect a view from the top, as it is thickly wooded. Very peaceful and quiet when I was there. The other reviews are correct in that you can add about another .5 mi as the car park is not right at the trailhead. I only saw a couple of other people in the whole time there, so if looking for some quiet, I would recommend.

I did this hike in just under 3hrs, the whole loop. I probably would have gone downhill faster, but for the slick trail conditions. (For comparison, I do a hike the same distance once a week, which is much more difficult due to terrain and steepness, in CA, and it takes me a good 4hrs, but with about 3k ft elevation gain).

One thing to note - the trail was very slick for most of the East Loop side, which was about 2 hrs after the rain by the time that I got there, so depending on the weather, be careful.
Written April 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rob
California7 contributions
Couples
A heavily wooded six-mile loop trail, with many offshoots for bikers. They get a cool set-up here with several practice areas and even an air pump and toolkit as pictured. Very nice wide trail, covered with leaves, and I expect it's often wet -- be prepared for rain here. It feels far from all the tourism -- quite an escape and blessing to have a nice long trail in a free, well-maintained park. Kudos to the folks who made it happen and keep it going!

Note, this is NOT the one-mile Waihou Spring Trail off Olinda Road.

Getting here is typical of upcountry -- narrow twisty rolling roads, minimal but helpful signage. You access this park starting north bound on Makawao Rd, turning right on Piiholo Rd just at the edge of the cemetery next to St. Joseph Catholic church in Makawao. The road is narrow and un-striped. Follow it up the hill. Once past the Piiholo Ranch zipline base, you'll come to a Y sort of intersection. Turn slight left onto Waiahiwi Rd. Most prominent at the "Y" is a foreboding sign that says "No Outlet," but it's also marked as to Kahakapao Rd., so take it.

After a couple switchbacks, you'll need to take a hard right turn on Kahakapao Rd. The road gets even narrower and more twisty, and you'll see another "No Outlet" sign. Go through the park gates, marked as open 7 AM - 7 PM. Keep going and you'll arrive soon at the large parking area (upper for cars, lower for horse trailers). There's one porta-potty in the upper lot.
Written August 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hannah J
Carbondale, Colorado, United States20 contributions
Family
My boys love exploring, hiking and playing in the tree tee-pees. Great hiking and biking trails. It can be wet and muddy, so bring the proper gear.
Written April 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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