“One of the best spots on Maui for nature-viewing, the path winds through native and nonnative plants
— Megan W
Birding · Views · Wildlife
Starting from the parking and picnic area, this short loop trail can be done in the clockwise or counter clockwise direction. If going in the clockwise direction, you'll first cover flat ground passing through tall groves of labeled non-native trees. After a short couple of uphill steps, you'll emerge onto more open, sub-alpine terrain with better views. Here are the native shrubs. This trail also boasts some fine birdwatching opportunities. Head gently downhill and back to the parking area to complete the loop.
Some history- in 1910, Ralph Hosmer planted non-native trees (eucalptus, sugi pine, spruce, cedar, Douglas fir, deodar, etc.) here in hopes of creating a timber industry and reviving the watershed. Hosmer found that these introduced species adapted to Hawaii well enough to survive, but they did not grow fast enough to make harvesting commercially viable. The National Park Service works to make sure that these non-native plants do not escape from this area.
Flora & Fauna
Four different kinds of honeycreepers (native forest birds) can regularly be found here. Also the native birds 'i'iwi and 'apapane can be found here. The 'i'iwi makes a squeeking sound has orange legs and a curved beak. The 'apapane has a black bill and legs, moves quickly and makes a whirring noise when flying. Native plants (mamane, pilo, kilau ferns, sandalwood).