Sunday, October 29, 2017

Half the Hana Highway is the Whole Enchilada

Most mornings on Maui, a conga line of rental cars embark on the serpentine odyssey that is the Hana Highway—indeed, the road is a must-do. But if you take another day and do a slow shuffle on the first part of the highway, you will be rewarded. After only 2 miles on the Hana Highway is one of its major delights, the Twin Falls Botanical Preserve (above). Though this place can get crowded, few visitors find the half-dozen falls in this garden of delights.

A number of lesser-known roads lead into the lush forest reserves on this side of the island, where you will find the hand-hewn infrastructure built in the sugar cane heydays of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Hana Highway is known for its one-lane bridges, but some can actually accommodate two cars, like this one near the Waikamoi Ridge Nature Trail.

Near mile marker 17 is the Keanae Arboretum, an excellent family stroll that can be extended into a jungle trek.

The arboretum took root in 1971, and features tropical trees from around the globe like these rainbow eucalyptus.

At the end of the paved path is a display of Polynesian imports, including taro, papayas, bananas and ti.

A trip to the village of Keanae completes the day. This little church, named (get ready) Ihi'ihioiehovaona Kaua, dates from 1860. In the next village over, Wailua, are two other historic beauties—St. Gabriel's Church and St. Augustine Shrine. 

Maui Trailblazer has details on places you would probably miss on the way to Hana.