Friday, August 31, 2012

Maui's Keanae village: Family freebie

Most tourist cars stream by the turnoff to Keanae, a quiet hamlet (near mile marker 17) that is set upon a penninsula of lava that spilled from Haleakala volcano. The center of "town" is a tiny stone church with a big name (ihi'ihioiehovanona Kaua) that dates from 1860. The recommended dining experience is Aunty Sandy's petite loaf of apple banana bread sold at the Keanae Landing Fruit Stand. Wave watching (white water bashes lava columns), kayaking, and swimming in two freshwater pools are among Keanae's attractons. Just before the turnoff to the village is Keanae Arboretum, with easy family trails alongside Pi'inau Stream, in the shade of huge trees brought here from both sides of the equator. Admission is free. Just after the Keanae turnoff is a second hamlet, Wailua, which sports two historic churches and taro field set below the green ramparts of the Ko'olau Forest Reserve. More to see on pages 112 through 113 in the Maui Trailblazer guidebook.