The Best Things to Do at the Makawao Forest Reserve

At 2,500 feet above sea level, the beauty of Makawao Forest Reserve is truly unparalleled. This unique forest is located in the upcountry of Maui, Hawaii, and features flowering ginger plants, fragrant eucalyptus trees, and spectacular views of the island and ocean below. This region also has cooler temperatures than Maui’s beaches and is a great place to take a break from the sun. The next time you visit Maui, book your stay at the Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono and see what makes Makawao Forest Reserve so special! Here are some of our favorite things to do there.

Spend a Day at Makawao Forest Reserve

Mountain Biking

Makawao Forest has some of the best mountain bike trails in Hawaii and offers a variety of single and double track trails to suit any rider. We recommend biking to Paia Town first to grab some lunch, then riding up to the park. You’ll see an entrance to the trails from the parking lot and can follow signs to the east and west loop trails. Area locals have also created a thrilling downhill trail below the parking lot that features log rides, gap jumps, and small rock drops.

Local Tip: The bike trails in Makawao Forest Reserve are often wet, so use caution. Large roots can also cause problems when riding downhill. Take it slow and watch out for thorns from raspberry bushes. Be sure to look at a trail map before heading out.

To rent a mountain bike, head to Haleakala Bike Company on Haiku Road. They offer both fleet and hardtail models, and all of their bikes are new. Hard tails are $55 per day and fleet bikes are $45. Packages include a bike, helmet, car rack, rain/wind gear, and a backpack with tools, so you’ll have everything you need for your mountain biking adventure.

Hiking

Makawao Forest Reserve is also a popular place to hike. The Kahakapao Loop Trail is particularly beautiful and features 5 miles of singing birds and spectacular native plant species. Since it’s a multi-use trail, be sure to keep an eye out for bikers.

If you prefer a quieter route, consider hiking the 2-mile Waihou Spring Trail toward the top of Olinda Road. This trail is only open to hikers and doesn’t have as steep of an elevation as Kahakapao Loop. You’ll stroll through woods of pine trees to a 30-foot rock face at the end of the trail. There are tunnels bored through the rock that you can climb through and explore. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Come Home to the Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono

After you visit the Makawao Forest Reserve, head back to our Maui bed and breakfast where you can unwind in one of our beautiful rooms and suites! With luxurious amenities and beautiful views, our inn is the perfect place to relax after a day of adventure. Plus, you can enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast the next morning and tell us all about your trip! We can’t wait to hear about what you discover in Maui.

To learn more about the best things to do on the island, request a copy of our free Maui vacation guide!