Off The Beaten Path
Polipoli State Park or Polipoli Spring is a really remote part of Maui that very few visitors and most kama’aina never get to see. It is 10 acres of forested wonderment situated in the 21,000 acre Kula Forest Reserve on the slopes of Haleakala.
Most of the trees are non- native and were planted in the 1930’s depression by The Civilian Conservation Corps. The extent to which they have grown and prospered is a testament to the power of nature.
You will be at around 6,200 feet and it is often damp and foggy but, not always. The temperature is from 10-20 degrees cooler than at sea level so, bring a jacket. The hiking is superb and the whole experience is kinda romantic. Take your significant other.
There is an old ranger’s cabin available for rent in the middle of the forest. Personally, I found it a little creepy. But, that’s just me. Maybe you’ll like this hyper rustic stuff. You can contact: 808-981-8109 for more information on the cabin, camping permits and to check on possible park closures.
There is an abundant population of wild boar in this forest. Generally, they are pretty timid unless you interfere with a sow and her piglets. She will defend them! I always carry a good hunting knife and a sturdy walking stick when up in this area.
Now, the drive is half the adventure. You had better have a good car or truck. I have done this road in beater cars and 4WD trucks. I’ll take the 4WD any day. When there is fog, it is most dense along this road with very poor visibility. Drive slowly and stay sharp. On some parts of the road there is not that much room for error.
As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best day trips you can take and there is still much more to see in Kula both on the drive to and on the way back..
From Kahului, take Highway 37 past Pukalani to the second junction of Highway 377. Turn left on 377 for about 0.3 mile, then right on Waipoli Road. Waipoli Road is a little hard to find, Get a map.
Have a blast!
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