World Class Mountain Bike Trail System Opens on Maui
By Wendy Osher
The state hosts a grand opening celebration this weekend for the new Kahakapao Recreational Area featuring a world-class trail system for mountain bike riders.
The new trail system is located within the Makawao State Forest Reserve and features miles of professionally designed and designated mountain biking trails for enthusiasts.
The project is the result of several years of work by volunteers, mountain biking associations, contractors and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
The trail system includes a variety of features for riders of all skill levels and ages, and is part of the state’s Nā Ala Hele network of trails.
The Makawao State Forest Reserve where the recreational area is located, was established in 1908 to protect the area’s important watershed.
According to an environmental assessment for the project, there have been several illegal bicycle trails constructed within the Makawao State Forest Reserve since the Kahakapao Loop Trail opened in 2003. Two of the illegal trails are being incorporated into the Kahakapao Recreational Area.
According to the document, the goal of the project is to provide an extended hiking and equestrian experience, while establishing a practice bicycle area for youth and beginner riders; provide a gravity flow trail experience for beginning to experienced riders; a pump track experience for all interested riders; and two skills practice areas for riders to increase their abilities.
The proposal called for use during the day only. Kahakapao Road ends at a gate on the Makawao State Forest Reserve Boundary that is open at 7 a.m., and closed at 7 p.m. daily.