One of Maui’s lesser known bike trails, ride through the Makawao Forest Reserve for a challenging experience.

To bike the Makawao Forest Reserve’s east and west trails, you’ll need to rent a mountain bike, then head up towards Makawao Town.

Our favorite way to do this is head to Paia Town (get some lunch), then ride up Baldwin Ave. to Makawao. One you hit Makawao Town, turn left on State Hwy 40 (Kaupakalua Rd.) Then make a quick right past the cemetery on Piiholo Rd.

Turn left on Kahakapao Rd. and drive to the end. Park at the gate or drive further in and park inside at the gravel parking lot. (make sure to observe park hours.)

From the parking lot, you’ll see an entrance to the trails with another gate. Follow the signs that say east and west loop.

Make sure to bring a helmet, water, and something to fix a flat. Also, see dangers below.


Be cautious when biking this trail because it’s often wet. It can be deceptive because of leaves hiding wet areas and other obstacles. Large roots and dug up areas from wild boar can cause problems when riding downhill. Take it slow or try riding uphill. There’s a lot of raspberry bushes around, so watch for their thorns.

Have questions? Ask some of our experts at the shop about other great Maui Bike Trails.

What makes it special?

The beauty of this forest is unrivaled. You’ll see Koa trees and flowering ginger plants as well as non indigenous plants like the fragrant eucalyptus tress and pine forest.

You’ll also enjoy the cooler temperature up here (as opposed to the heat at Maui’s sea level.

Spend sometime Upcountry and you’ll find some great shopping, beautiful views of the island and ocean from above, and excellent restaurants.

makawao forest detail map

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