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Hike Category: Hikes
Maunalei Arboretum was established in the 1920s by D.T. Fleming (he had the beach named after him), who was the plantation manager of Honolua Ranch. “He traveled the world seeking new plant and tree species that would complement our island home; these discoveries can be seen today planted like a lei encircling the mountain top.” (www.kapaluamaui.com). Many of the signs indicating names of some native as well as exotic species are fun to find with the kids on the trail (although some signs are missing) or you can make a scavenger hunt of it with the children and locate them on the map with the kids and find them that way .
Three different trails are accessible once you reach the arboretum.
Honolua Ridge Trail: 1.25 Miles
Banyan Loop: 1 Mile
Lower Arboretum Loop: .5 Mile
To get to the trails you need to take a shuttle from the Kapalua Village Center which is located at 2000 Village road in-between the Ritz Carlton and Kapalua Golf Academy. You need to contact the Resort Shuttle (free service) to reserve a seat, which is limited at 808-665-9110. There is free parking and very nice bathrooms at the center.
Shuttle for Maunalei Arboretum pick up 9:30 am, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.
The shuttle (which has to drive through a gated community of the rich and famous) takes about 15 minutes to take you up to the trailhead. At the trailhead (where the van drops off) there is a port-a-potty and pavilion with picnic table and a sign with a map – take a picture of the map!
After following the trail head in you follow the arrow signs that direct you to the three different trails. These can get confusing as there are loops and trails share the same paths at times, so it is advised to refer to map so you know where you are. It can also be muddy if it has been raining, so be prepared.
The Arboretum loop has a beautiful look out point with an ocean view, the Banyon loop has some great banyan trees, which are fun for the kids to explore and the Honolua Ridge trail has some stunning views of the ridge but is the steepest trail of the three.
Pick up going back to the Kapulua Village Center is at 9:50am, 11:50am and 1:50pm.
You also have the option of hiking down the Mahana Ridge trail that ends up at D.T. Fleming beach park (the beach used by the Ritz Carlton) which takes a few hours and has great views.
D.T. Fleming beach park is also a great spot to go if you take the shuttle back (it is two minutes away). It is fun for bodysurfing, swimming and sand castle building and is a refreshing and relaxing way to end a beautiful hiking day.