Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge

Another Saturday, another hike. We had ambitious plans, but we’ve had some rain the past few weeks. When I say rain, I mean, we’ve had over 6 inches of rain in 8 days. That’s a lot for Kihei. Our planned hike was sure to be muddy, so we went with plan B.

Today’s trip was to the Waihe’e Coastal Dunes area. This is a 277-acre parcel that was purchased for preservation and is now a part of the Hawai’i Island Land Trust. It was home to two ancient villages, a large fish pond and several heiau. Volunteers have restored the area and it is now home to several endangered Hawaiian birds and Hawaiian plants.

There is a nice walking path, about 2.4 miles round trip. It passes by the former Waihe’e Dairy and a few other buildings, along the water to the point where Waihe’e Stream enters the ocean. You can then either come back the way you came, or take the inland trail through a wooded area. Waihe’e Stream? Yes, this is the same stream that the Waihe’e Ridge Trail looks down into. Check out my blog on that hike from a few years ago.

Bring your binoculars and watch for whales and also native birds!

When you visit, please show respect for the land and the rich culture, plants and animals that live here. Some of these areas are sacred to the Hawaiian people. Stay on the path, do not climb onto or into any of the structures, rock piles, the cemetery, the heiau etc.

Looking for more information? Here is a neat virtual field trip created a few years ago about the Waihe’e Coastal Dunes. Enjoy!

Enjoy this virtual field trip of the Waihe’e Coastal Dunes and Wetland Refuge

What is the Hawaii Island Land Trust?

The Hawai’i Island Land Trust (HILT) is a non-profit organization that manages over 21,650 acres across the Hawaiian Island. Their stated purpose is ‘To protect and steward the lands that sustain Hawaiʻi, and to perpetuate Hawaiian values by connecting people with ʻāina.’

Curious to learn more and join a volunteer project? Sign up and don’t forget to complete the volunteer waiver form.