Discover Maui

By , June 19, 2010 3:03 am
Waianapanapa State Park, Maui
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Discover Waianapanapa

Waianapanapa means “glistening waters.” A natural stone arch, blowhole, and hiking along two sections of the old King’s Highway are features of the park. A footpath encircling the island, the King’s Highway connected all the villages on the island. Use go od shoes, not slippers or sandals, if you plan to follow either of the marked trails, one goes towards Hana Airport, the other toward Hana Bay. Another attraction of the park is a circle trail that takes visitors to a fresh water pool in a cave. Popoalaea , a beautiful princess, fled from her cruel husband and hid in the cave. When her husband was searching for her, he stopped at the cave for water. As his men were resting, they saw Popoalaea’s reflection in the water. She was sitting on a small rock withi n the underwater cave, being fanned by her handmaiden, unaware that danger was so close. Her husband dove into the pool, entered the cave, and killed them. To this day, the pool’s water is said to turn red on the anniversary of her death. Camping at Waian apanapa State Park is noisy. The sound of the waves washing against the ili’ili may keep you awake at night and the birds singing at dawn will wake you. But, that’s some of the sounds that make camping here such a pleasure. Three miles from the center of Hana, Waianapanapa offers camping facilities in rustic cabins that will accommodate up to six people or a grassy tents-only campground. The cabins are very popular and it is sometimes difficult to secure reservations for them. Permits are required for cam ping in the tents only area and no exceptions are made, so come prepared. Permits are issued in Wailuku, and more information on acquiring them can be found in another section of this magazine. Tall false kamani trees shade the grassy tents-only camp grou nds. A steep trail leads to the rocky beach below. The beach is covered with smooth black stones, ili-ili, which are used by hula dancers who click them together like Spanish castanets when dancing. The ocean can be rough here, so be careful swimming. If you’re driving around to Hana, take a short detour to visit the park. Even if you do not plan to go camping, it’s well worth the stop.

Visit The Hawaiian Nature Center
Come and join in on the activities at the Hawaiian Nature Center. Become part of Maui if only for a little while, allow the culture to touch your soul, feel the history of this proud island. The Hawaii Nature Center is a non-profit state-wide organization . Its Maui location is in the Iao Valley and offers continuing activities for young and old alike. Up-to-date-information is just a phone call away, 244-6599 or 955-0100. The primary purpose of the Nature center is to foster a personal appreciation and un derstanding of the unique island environment and culture. Wise stewardship for the future is emphasized. Recent programs included a series of hiking adventures for children and their families.

Hop Over To Lanai
Lanai was once known for its pineapple plantations and small town, Lanai City, with less than 2800 people. Today Lanai has been transformed into a complete visitor destination for those who wish to enjoy the best and be away from the crowds. Flights to th e private isle can be boarded on any of the other Hawaiian islands. The best way is to arrive by boat. Expeditions Lanai Ferry has regularly scheduled service between Lahaina, Maui and Manele Bay, Lanai. The boat ride takes about 55 minutes, just long eno ugh for the cares of a busy world to melt away. The Trilogy also offers trips to Lanai but they are generally excursions. Lanai has an interesting combination of a laid back lifestyle and two world class luxury resorts that will cater to your every whim. A myriad of activities and sightseeing opportunities are available.

Visit Rainbow County Park
Rainbows arch over the northeastern slopes of Haleakala where Rainbow County Park is located and the park gets its name from the wonderful rainbow shower trees that are planted in it rather than from the frequent showers that pass over it. When the trees are in bloom, they lay a pink and white carpet over ground. A sleeper, the park is one of Maui’s few places to camp away from the ocean. It’s tucked away in an elbow of Baldwin Avenue, seven miles from the junction of the Hana Highway (36) and Baldwin Ave nue (390), halfway between the wind surfing town of Paia and the cowboy town of Makawao. Rainbow Park is a quiet haven for tent campers. Portable toilets, picnic tables and a pavilion are available. Bring along an extra tarp to protect your tent from rain drops and flower petals. Pick up a permit to camp here at the Dept. of Parks & Recreation office located in the Wailuku War Memorial Gym in Central Maui.

Go Mountain Biking
You’re on cruise control! You’re pedaling easily. The road is an unfolding silvery gray ribbon in front of you. Everywhere you look, the scenery is picture-postcard perfect. The sun’s at your back, a breeze gently cools your face. Riding a mountain bike i n Upcountry Maui is fun, especially when you can take the time to smell the flowers along the way. The most famous bicycle ride on Maui is from the 10,000 ft. summit, House of the Sun Haleakala, to the coastal town of Paia 38 miles away. When we’re talkin g mountain biking, we’re talking about all the side trips that people may want to explore on their own with a freestyle unguided excursion. All mountain bike companies begin their tours outside the National Park’s entrance, offering their clients a shorte r ride by cutting off approximately 12 miles downhill from the summit to the 7,000 ft. elevation. Some rent their bikes to individuals who can then go off on their own. Each bike company has its own “trade secrets,” places they know their clients will enj oy. Stops at Protea farms and botanical gardens are favorites, as is the Tedeschi Vineyards at Ulupalakua. One of the nicest advantages of going with a guided tour is if you have bitten off more than you can handle, you can ride in the van that accompanie s the tours. Choosing gently rolling hillsides or off-road riding on mountain trails, there’s a mountain bike with your name on it waiting for you! See Recommended Advertisers on Ad Index page 70.

Camp At Kanaha Beach Park
If you’re a novice windsurfer, Kanaha Beach Park is the place to learn to ride the wind and waves. If you just want to be where all the action is, camp out at the new campground just recently opened by the County at the Kahului end of the park. The campgr ound provides for both tent camping and beach area camping. The tent camping area is restricted to a maximum of 40 people per day. Parking is adjacent to the campground so if you’re looking for a more wilderness type of camping experience, don’t even cons ider Kanaha. There are five beach area camp sites; these are restricted to a maximum of ten people with no more than two cars at each site. Like all County campgrounds, there is a fee to camp here. The cost is $3 per adult per day, $.50 per child per day. Camping is permitted from Friday noon to Monday noon only. There are picnic tables, cooking grills, and portable toilets in the campgrounds. Showers and flush toilets are available within the park. After acquiring your permit, reading through all of the restrictions, and getting to the beach, Kanaha offers long beach walks, shady trees to relax under, and lots of great action to watch!

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