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Hawaii Forest and Trail

Hawaii Forest & Trail Adventures

Hawaii Forest & Trail will take you to some of the most beautiful spots around Hawaii. Explore the Kohala Waterfalls or the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. Or you might prefer to go on a volcano adventure or drive to the summit of Mauna Kea. Hawaii Forest & Trail offers a variety of hiking and driving excursions on the Big Island.

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Big Island

Kohala Waterfalls Adventure

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 4.50 out of 5
Based upon 41 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 73-5593 Olowalu Street • Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740

Hiking

Kohala Waterfalls Adventure in Kailua-Kona, Big Island HI

The Kohala Waterfalls Adventures tour begins with a wonderful drive of contrast and change from the dry-side resort area to the lush green country of Kohala. Along the way, you'll journey up the North Kona and Kohala coastlines over lava flows from Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and the Kohala Mountains. Often from the shoreline you are able to see splashing spinner dolphins or in the winter months, breaching humpback whales. You'll pass through the quaint plantation towns of Hawi and Kapaau, site of the life-size statue of King Kamehameha I. At the end of the road a brief rest stop at the historic Kohala Mule Station offers one of Hawaii's most spectacular coastal views. Then the real fun begins, with a bumpy but short off-road drive in our 6WD Pinzgauer on an old cane road over private ranchland to our trailhead.

This Tour is great for:
- Couples
- Families

The Adventure: Out of the Pinzgauer, you'll step back into the early 1900's, when plantation owners began construction of the Kohala Ditch Trail to bring much needed water to the sugar cane fields. Along the 1.5-mile loop trail, you'll see tunnels blasted and carved from solid rock, walk over an aqueduct on two bridges, and learn the story of the tremendous effort it took to build an irrigation system stretching over 22 miles. You'll delve into ancient Hawaiian history as well, visiting a former taro farming site just off the path. Seven beautiful waterfalls grace the trail. You can take a refreshing dip in the last pool we visit and play under a refreshing cascade. With stunning mountain panoramas, green valleys, and pasturelands, and of course the abundant water, the Kohala Waterfalls Adventure is a fascinating way for young and old to experience Kohala's "story of water."

Schedule: Tours daily. 8 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, and Waikoloa Queen’s Marketplace.

Rated: Easy; all ages welcome.

Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water

Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.

Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests.

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.

What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes or reef walkers, bathing suit, hat, sunscreen and a light jacket.

$169.00
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Big Island

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Adventure

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
Based upon 1602 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 73-5593 Olowalu Street • Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740

Hiking

Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Adventure in Kailua-Kona, Big Island HI

Named by Hawaiians long ago, Hakalau means "many perches" and is still considered critical bird habitat today. Once part of a large cattle ranch, it was the first National Wildlife Refuge established in the United States for forest birds. It is home to some of the rarest plants and animal species on earth. Hakalau Forest is a fascinating example of conservation in action. The forest you'll access is recovering from a hundred years of grazing by cattle and damage from pigs. Our permit allows us to bird the Pua Akala meadow. Giant koa trees, ohia-lehua trees estimated to be a thousand years old, ferns, and rare lobeliads are just some of the native plants encountered.

This Tour is great for:

  • Birders

  • Bird Lovers

  • Nature Lovers

  • Hawaii Veterans

Like our Rainforest and Dryforest Birdwatching Adventure the forest here is filled with the sounds of Hawaii's rare birds. Often, we will encounter researchers or resource managers on our walks who are always willing to share up-to-date information. Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, because of the history of grazing, has a park like setting in the higher elevations, and is densely forested below. Our trail is a four-wheel drive road that bisects the meadow, and there is an elevation gain and loss of about 650 feet.

From Hawaii Forest & Trail headquarters, we will head up to Mamalahoa Highway heading north towards Waimea and the Saddle Road. Once on the Saddle Road, there will be an opportunity for some car-birding primarily for game birds and the Pueo or the Hawaiian Short-eared Owl. We stop in route on the Saddle Road for a restroom stop and a continental breakfast of fresh fruit, breads, and pound cake along with juice, Kona coffee, and an assortment of teas. After the breakfast stop, we follow the unpaved Keanakolu Road 11 miles to the Pua Akala tract of the Refuge.

Schedule: Morning trips departing daily. 11 - 12 hours round trip, departs Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.

Rated: Moderate; ages 8 and over.

Included in the Tour: Continental breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Plus, deli style lunch, with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.

Gear Provided: Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.

Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests. Minimum tour group must be 4 total.

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain.

$185.00
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Big Island

Hilo Tropical Wonders

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
Based upon 1602 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 1672 Kamehameha Avenue • Hilo, HI 96720

Excursions

Hilo Tropical Wonders in Hilo HI

Explore the rich heritage of Hilo as you travel Old Hawaii's charming back roads and scenic byways to visit historic landmarks, beautiful waterfalls, and a family-owned tropical fruit farm. Enjoy an intimate group setting as your Interpretive Guide leads you on a trip back through time and taste the bounty of Hawaii Island.

Highlights:
- Taste seasonal tropical fruit and freshly cracked macadamia nuts at a private pavilion overlooking Rainbow Falls.
- Delve into Hilo's rich agricultural heritage
- Visit significant landmarks and sites, including Wainaku Center
- Travel the historic highways and scenic corridors in and around Hilo

Operation/Tour Time:
- Departure daily from Big Island Trading Co. in Hilo
- Duration: 2.5 hours

Restrictions:
Guests on this tour should not be physically challenged or unable to walk short distances of a 1/2 mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toe shoes required, long pants and a light jacket recommended.

Includes: Coffee and farm food tasting, beverages, and use of daypacks, walking staffs, rain gear, and warm wear.

$124.00
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Big Island

Rainforest & Dry Forest Birding Adventure

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
Based upon 1602 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 73-5593 Olowalu Street • Kailua-Kona, Big island, HI 96740

Hiking

Rainforest & Dry Forest Birding Adventure in Kailua-Kona, Big island HI

Rainforest - Our destination is the Puu Oo Trail, a historic cattle drive route, located at the 6,000 foot level of Saddle Road on Mauna Loa's northeastern flank. This is the windward side of the island, and is often cloaked in misty clouds. It is enchanting to be serenaded by the forest birds as we make our way over three to four miles of sometimes rough lava trail, crossing over the 1855 and 1881 lava flows.

Dryforest - At the Humuula hunter check-in station just off Saddle Road, we go into the Kaohe Game Management Area and four-wheel it to nearly 7000 feet on the western side of Mauna Kea.

The drive: On the drive to our two primary locales, we head north along the coastline before starting the climb to the old Mamalahoa Highway, keeping an eye out for open-country birds. From there we'll connect to the Saddle Road and begin car-birding, primarily for game birds as well as for the Pueo, or short-eared owl. Depending on the weather, we'll stop for a bit of breakfast along the Saddle Road, often at Mauna Kea State Park at Pohakuloa.

Rainforest - Some of the avifauna we hope to spot along the way are iiwi, apapane, amakihi, omao, elepaio, and the elusive akiapolaau, with its unique multipurpose beak. Many of these are found in the ohia and koa canopy.

Dryforest - The track leads to a locked gate that is the entrance to the Mauna Kea Forest Preserve. There we disembark the van and take in the spectacular views. Then we get down to some serious bird watching, on foot in the mamane-naio forest. Although the terrain is somewhat uneven, the hiking is easy. We are particularly interested in sighting the critically threatened palila, which feeds almost entirely on the green pods of the mamane tree.

Schedule: Morning trips departing weekdays only from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters. 11 hours round trip.

Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 8 and over.

Included in the Tour: Continental breakfast including fresh local fruit, baked goods, 100% Kona coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Deli-style lunch, with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water.

Gear Provided: Walking sticks, binoculars, day packs, warm wear and rain ponchos.

Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 10 guests.

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions.

What to Bring & Wear: Sturdy closed toed shoes

$185.00
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Big Island

Epic Island Volcano Journey

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
Based upon 1602 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 73-5593 Olowalu Street • Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740

Excursions

Epic Island Volcano Journey in Kailua-Kona, Big Island HI

Wander off-the-beaten path and visit the island's most awe-inspiring sites. This full day journey covers all your Big Island "must do" experiences and more, and is enhanced by a gourmet sustainably-sources farm to fork menu featuring island-inspired favorites and culturally themed delicacies. This unforgettable journey, led by an expert interpretive guide, is an amazing blend of history and culture.

Highlights:
- Explore an active volcano and visit 4 different National Park sites
- Search for sea turtles strolling the fine crystal black sands of Punaluu
- Learn how lava tubes are formed at a private cave system
- Enjoy private tours at Kau Coffee Mill and tropical fruit farm

Menu:
Savory Island Breakfast: Fresh fruit, choice of ham & egg or vegetarian breakfast wrap, local banana bread, 100% Kona coffee & assorted hot tea.
Farm to Fork Lunch: "Deli Trio" Turkey, Ham & Smoked Fish sandwiches or Garden Fresh Veggie sandwich, Big Island Potato Chips and Chocolate MacNut cookie.

Tour Time:
Duration: 6:50am - 6:30pm

Dress code:
Closed-toe shoes, wear/bring long pants, and a light jacket.

Restrictions:
Guests should not be physically challenged or unable to walk short distances on uneven terrain. Ages 8 years and older.

$199.00
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Big Island

Kona Coffee & Craters

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
Based upon 1602 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 73-5593 Olowalu Street • Kailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740

Volcano Tours

Kona Coffee & Craters in Kailua-Kona, Big Island HI

On the slopes of Hualalai lies the world famous Kona Coffee Belt. Nourished by afternoon showers and rich volcanic soil, this region produces some of the finest and most sought-after coffee in the world. On this fun and exciting exploration, we’ll journey from sea-level through a dense rainforest to a world of volcanic majesty at the 6,000 ft. elevation on the privately owned lands of Kaupulehu. Although in plain sight of Kailua-Kona, these seldom-visited uplands are seemingly geologic light-years away.

The story of Kona Coffee unfolds as we explore the volcanic and royal history of this area. Amidst distinctive native birdsongs, our rock-rambling tour will take you through a beautiful and surreal landscape of native dryland forest, lava flows, and stunning craters. We focus on the northwest rift of Hualalai where most of the volcanic activity has been concentrated over the years. Along with three distinctive types of craters, your Interpretive Guide will also lead you on foot on an exploration through an impressive lava tube. If you don’t have time to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this is your chance to experience a Hawaiian volcano.

After exploring the area’s volcanic features we’ll descend into the Kona Coffee Belt to a family-owned coffee estate. This working coffee farm encompasses all aspects of the coffee process: growing, harvest, processing, roasting and packaging all happens here. You’ll go behind the scenes to see how bright red coffee cherries are hand-picked, meticulously sorted for color and size, then roasted to perfection to produce a delicious cup of Kona coffee. Of course, you’ll have a chance to sample the varieties and roasts and buy whole-bean coffee direct from the farmer.

If you’ve always wondered what makes Kona Coffee so special then this is the tour for you!

Schedule: Tours operate daily. 6 - 7 hours round trip, departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters.
Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 8 and over.
Included in the Tour: Deli style lunch with assorted soft drinks, juices and bottled water. 100% Kona coffee tasting served at the coffee farm.
Gear Provided: Walking sticks, warm wear, day packs and rain ponchos.
Group Size: Tour limited to a maximum of 12 guests

Restrictions: Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Other tour restrictions may apply.
What to Bring & Wear: Comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a light sweatshirt or jacket.

$176.00
$166.00
You Save: $10.00
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Big Island

Discover Volcano Country

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: TripAdvisor user rating 5.00 out of 5
Based upon 1602 traveler reviews
Hawaii Forest & Trail • 1672 Kamehameha Avenue • Hilo, HI 96720

Excursions

Discover Volcano Country in Hilo HI

Travel through the remote and rugged landscape of Kau-home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, historic farming plantations and the famous black sand beach of Punaluu. Discover how the powerful forces of nature have shaped the people and landscape of this dynamic region, Hawaii's largest and district. The perfect blend of nature and culture led by an expert Interpretive Guide.

Highlights:
- Discover all the "must see" spots within the Park; including Jaggar Museum, Thurston Lava Tube, and Halemaumau Crater.
- Sample and shop for award-winning farm fresh coffee at Kau Coffee Mill, along with other Hawaii Island grown treats like macadamia nuts, honey, and chocolate.
- Walk across a crystal-fine black sand beach searching for basking sea turtles at Punaluu.
- Immerse yourself in stories of Hawaiian legends and mythology, with a focus on Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes.
- Explore a lava tube and discover the mysteries of how these tunnels are formed.

Operation/Operation Time:
- Daily
- Departs from Big Island Trading Co. in Hilo
- Duration: Approximately 7hrs

Restrictions:
Guests on this tour should not be physically challenged or unable to walk short distances of 1 mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toe shoes required, long pants and a light jacket recommended.

Includes:
Park entry fees, Coffee and Mac Nut tasting, Deli lunch, beverages, and use of daypacks, walking staffs, rain gear, and warm wear.

Menu:
Turkey, Ham Tuna or Garden Fresh Veggie sandwich; Maui Potato Chips, Fresh-baked Cookie.

$159.00
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