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State DLNR announces partial closures of the Kahakapao Recreational Area in Makawao

Kahakapao Recreational Area / Courtesy of the Department of Land and Natural Resources - State of Hawaii

The Kahakapao Recreational Area (KRA) in the Makawao Forest Reserve will be undergoing construction and partial closure to the vehicle parking areas from Monday February 27, 2017 through Sunday, September 24, 2017. This area is managed by the Maui Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Land and Natural Resources, and is one of the most popular recreational areas on Maui for hiking, equestrian and bicycle riding.

Contractors will be creating accessible parking and walkways at the recreational area gate along Fong Ridge road access in the upper parking area.  Anyone wishing to access the recreational area is requested to park in the lower parking area and obey all posted cautionary signs and warnings.  Access to the Kahakapao Recreational Area will be available during construction.

The contractor is Site Engineering, Inc. and the project cost is $177,505.

Kahakapao Recreational Area is also home to a beginner cyclist practice area, a pump track, an advanced skills area, and a gravity/flow bicycle trail. The beginner practice area is known as the ‘akahi akahi (novice) skills area and will meet the rapidly growing needs of riders by supplying an exciting, innovative course that is both safe and sustainable.  It provides a place to develop and promote basic bike handling skills, while teaching balance and technical handling skills, which contribute to a safer riding experience.

The advanced, or ‘akamai (expert) skills area contains the advanced skills level riding features that allow more advanced riders to sharpen their skills. The gravity/flow trail, or “Pineapple Express,” provides riders the choice of two or more different lines; a continuous straight line for beginners, or a turning line for the more advanced riders.  Pre-fabricated features also exist on this fast-moving roller-coaster of a ride.  The pump track, or Pauma tracks, appeal to all level of bicycle riders.

The Makawao State Forest Reserve is comprised of 2,093 acres on the west-facing slope of Haleakala Volcano.  The reserve ranges in elevation from about 2,040 to 4,920 feet elevation and contains a network of over 13 miles of bulldozed management roads.  The Reserve was established in 1908 to protect the important watershed.  Up until 1997, when the Kahakapao road was opened to the Pi’iholo Water Treatment Facility, there was no legal public access to the reserve.

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