Explore the most popular trails in Makawao Forest Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 month ago

This is not much of a hiking trail. Unless you are on a bicycle there is little reason to go here. It’s a long loop with no views and not as much fittest and nature as you’d expect. It’s a very groomed trail intended for bicyclists that includes numerous training areas and obstacles. It’s just not worth the long walk for what you get in return.

bird watching
1 month ago

We wanted a hike that incorporated some birding opportunities and this was perfect. What a great variety of flora at the different elevations from the smell eucalyptus trees to the pine trees and the ground floor covering of ferns and other natives bushes. We took our time as we were on the lookout for the native birds and saw a small flock of Maui Alauahios. We also saw a lot of the colorful red-billed Leiothrix throughout our hike too. It was a great hike in the forest and the trail wasn’t very crowded.

gorgeous trail to take on a hot day all shade

hiking
1 month ago

Feels like the PNW

hiking
2 months ago

nice woods though there are much nicer hikes in Maui.

hiking
2 months ago

Lovely eucalyptus groves (if that’s your thing), huge trees, some Cook pine, and some ash, and some native Hala-Pepe too (can you tell I read the interpretive signs?). I enjoyed most connecting to the trees. Mainly built for bikers, so it’s a little less peaceful for hiking because of that. Maybe 75% bike traffic? Bikers were nice though :). The trail lights up at sunset. Some cell reception. The trail was very clean and soft.

hiking
4 months ago

We did this hike after a storm and were very disappointed that the community workers hadn’t raked the forest. This is extremely dangerous as eucalyptus is highly flammable. We could have spontaneously caught fire if the forest wasn’t fortunately damp from the day before. However, the weather caused a lot of trees uprooted and although you can see them clearly due to the size, I almost tripped over a twig that was sticking out across the trail. On second thought, we’re just kidding. Yeah, there was a lot of debris after our storms here but it’s an absolutely beautiful trail and hike. Aloha.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

I write this description more as a warning to hikers planning to walk this trail in the near future. We walked, (or perhaps ‘picked’ our way along this trail is a better description) on February 12, 2019, two days after a very severe windstorm that has significantly damaged trees and branches in the area. We expected the trail to be muddy but the multitude of downed trees and branches everywhere made the hike quite treacherous. We spent almost the entire hike with heads down to ensure we did not get tripped up by the endless downed branches that wrap around your feet. Recommend long pant at present simply to avoid getting scraped ankles on twigs and limbs on ground. . Tried to clear some of the branches and twigs along the way but just to much damage to be much help. The trail in many spots is not walkable as we navigated around the many downed trees. We took the right hand fork at start and this side was particularly badly damaged but much of the trail is hard to follow because it is so buried in branches and debris. The All Trail App was very helpful in keeping us on track. We were hoping for a few views of the surrounding area but there are none. There is a nice view of a brook at the halfway point but the rest is just a forest walk. The current trail condition made this hike quite tedious and we were glad to be off the trail by the time we were done.

trail running
5 months ago

Started out from parking lot at 7:06am ... ran common wide trail up to where trail splits into east and west loops, at large trail map station. Ran up east side of loop (take left at trail map station), entirely runnable all way up, with occasional slowing of pace some sections, then came down west side of loop ... this is most enjoyable (ie clockwise) in my opinion. Lots of great flora (eucalyptus, Cook pine, ferns, etc). Saw one mountain biker on trail, as this trail is in use by bikers (several skill sections for bikers as offshoots from main trail). Did trail + out/back on common wider trail from parking lot in 1hr 29min at easy pace, with stopping at occasional trail placards to read explanation of flora ... my GPS said 5.75mi. This is one of few completely runnable longer trails on islands, comparable to Kuilau Ridge/Moalepe combined trail on Kauai ... great trail for us runners, without any section too technical for running. Not as tropically lush as the Kauai trail, but definitely enjoyable. Would do again.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is a must do. So easy to follow the paths and incredible scenery! If we are lucky enough to come back to Maui again we will definitely be doing this again. Can't say enough good things about it!

Great easy quick loop. Just enough uphill to be able to keep a good pace. App says 5 miles, but signs say 6.

Really nice place, the forest is amazing. The park is setup for both hikers and Mnt bikers, with separate trails. It has some skills area for learning mnt biking, and seen some dads taking their little kids out I figured to go and ride the skills areas. Wish we had that back home. The left fork was great. The right fork cris crossed other trails almost a ridiculous amount. Had absolutely no issue with bikes, and had a great hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Our first visit to the upcountry part of Maui - I can’t believe we waited so long. This is a beautiful forested hike where you remain under the canopy the entire time. I gave it 4 stars because we were hoping for some type of vista point. We did the 5.3 miles in just over two hours. The climb was ~ 1000 feet. We enjoyed visiting Makawao afterwards.

We really enjoyed this hike. Really nice and shady with lots of trees and some cool mushrooms. The hike is more like 6.5-7 miles. We started around 2 pm and it took us ~2.5 hours. There are many ways to make the hike shorter if you wish.

hiking
9 months ago

Lovely hike to do solo. It was empty enough to feel alone in nature, but coming across fellow hikers now and then was warmly welcomed. Amazing how the landscape can change so quickly...one minute you are walking upon what seems to be red clay and the next the earth was blanketed with long pine needles. A nice midday hike since it’s all shaded.

10 months ago

Great trail. Be prepared for mud and plenty mountain bikers.

good trail, gentle switch back. longer than it says. took a 3 month old puppy. he made it but was very tired.

Loved this trail, it was beautiful. Not difficult at all, some hilly points but easy to complete. Great to get steps in and your heart rate up.

trail running
Sunday, July 08, 2018

Awesome trail! If you have ever visited the Pacific Northwest, this forest reserve feels very similar. It’s very shaded, so it felt cool the entire run. I recommend decent trail running shoes, there was one area where I slipped for about two and a half feet on the way down. I went early (7am), and I ran into very few people... until the last mile of my run. I ran the west/east loop. The run is divided into two parts: the way UP and the way DOWN (the way down seemed way more fun lol.) I’m a runner, but I have been out of practice for about two years. There was a couple places on the way UP that I walked (not proud lol).. but the trail is actually really easy in hindsight.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Nice workout; you climb up; you climb down. Environment is constantly the same though. There’s trees, trees & trees. Bring your mountain bike, there are some extra trails if you go biking

trail running
Sunday, June 17, 2018

My "home" trail. I try to get there as soon as gates open at 7. Dogs and I start out to the left. Fongs Ridge Road goes straight up kinda steep towards the end. Otherwise it is a nice go up through the different veg zones if you take the normal loop. Fongs joins the loop at the top, going straight through, you can run down the drier southern part of the loop with less concern of slipping. The invasive (but beautiful) torch ginger section is a treat at the halfway point.

trail running
Sunday, June 03, 2018

Beautiful Trails!

hiking
Monday, April 02, 2018

About 5.86 miles from the parking lot, up to the loop and back. We took it clockwise and there were lots of switchbacks on our way up, more straightaways heading back down. We debated if we’d have preferred going the other direction. Really lovely shaded walk in the woods. Well-marked and the mountain bikers we encountered were all great at sharing the trail with hikers. Btw, “we” are a family of four with two teenagers. We aren’t in the best of shape and aren’t regular hikers, but we all enjoyed this trail!

hiking
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Nice hiking and awesome biking trails. Easy and well maintained.

hiking
Saturday, February 10, 2018

Easy, not moderate, well marked hike on wide trail. Didn’t see any wildlife nor hear any birds. Went day after heavy rain & most of trail was not muddy. On trail, follow RED arrows for hiking and GREEN for biking.

trail running
Monday, January 15, 2018

Awesome trail run in a lovely shady forest. No views or anything crazy, just a well kept, run romp in the woods.

trail running
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Just finished another Spartan Tri-Fecta - this was the perfect course to start to regroup - not much elevation change but a good length - 6.2miles - very muddy and lots of roots - staying on course is a little tricky because the mountain bike trail zig zags through the running trail - don't follow the All Trails map to get there. Read the street signs - be sure to stop the Holy Rosary Catholic church on the way - beautiful and peaceful -

Sunday, September 24, 2017

It’s a nice trail, well maintained, pleasantly cool and shady, with a variety of trees and occasional profusion of ferns. It’s tagged as having views, but there are none until you get back on Piiholo Road heading towards Makawao. Total distance from the trailhead to and then around the Loop Trail is 6.2 miles according to the signage.

hiking
Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Take my dog here all the time, can be a bit muddy but overall it's an awesome hike in the woods. The entire Loop when starting from the parking lot is more like 6.5 miles, highly recommend!

hiking
Saturday, August 19, 2017

We had a great hike here. We took the west loop, counterclockwise, and had troubles finding the right hike at the start as many trails intersect. After figuring it out we just followed the red arrow signs, pretty easy and not so smart from us. The hike is shaded all the way and the climate was very comfortable.

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