If you’re a hiker, forest lover or just looking for somewhere new and fun to adventure, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a relaxing and peaceful forest retreat just an hour from your South Maui home away from home. Simply make your way to the island countryside and discover what upcountry has to offer.
Known to residents as the Olinda Forest, the Waihou Spring Forest Reserve is located just at the top of Piiholo Road and is an easy as well as an affordable escape for all. With trails that range from beginner to more challenging, there’s a place for everyone in this natural sanctuary no matter your skill level.
The reserve is easy to find and is a perfect in-between stop if you’re heading to or from Haleakala. Starting from Makawao, simply head up Olinda Road and look for the Maui Bird Conservation Center. Once parked, step outside your car and take a deep breath. The smell of timber trees will overwhelm your senses and you’ll instantly feel more relaxed. This forest is home to Monterey cypress and eucalyptus trees, as well as native tree species including koa wood. Along with the enchanting scents of this natural landscape, the soft sound of rain gently hitting the top of the trees might also relax your nerves. Remember, this area is prone to rain so make sure to bring a rain jacket and an umbrella before heading out on the trails.
After giving yourself a few minutes to take in this new environment, head towards the open area past the gate and follow the trail into the forest. Don’t worry, it’ll be easy to locate. It’s the wide open area in between the tall trees. Upon entering, you’ll have plenty to observe so give yourself some time. The reserve is home to 186 acres of pine trees, lava tubes, small waterfalls, and wildlife. For those adventurous families, we recommend the short loop as it is more keiki (child) friendly. And for the ambitious group of friends, there is the longer Waihou Spring Trail to explore.
Learn more about what to expect from these trails and get ready for your next Maui adventure. And if you are still in the planning stages of your island getaway, check out our specials to get the best deal on lodging in Maui.