Lana’i has some of largest pine forests in Hawaii – yes, pine forests in tropical paradise! There’s no better way to see them than by on foot – where you can slowly take in their majestic beauty, aroma, and texture.
The Koloiki trail is a perfect place to experience the pine trees of Lana’i. It takes you from the forested center of the island starting at the Ko’ele Lodge winding you deep into the pine trees, finally depositing you out in the open along the ridge of the island with spectacular views of Hawaiian islands and deep valleys. I walked this trail by myself and ‘checked in’ with the front desk at the Lodge so they knew of my solo presence on the trail. They even offered me a walking stick and a map which I gladly took. The route was extremely well marked with numbers and signs – in fact – I think it would have been impossible to get lost. There was only one steep area that had any technical hiking and it was short. The rest was a nice meander through forests.
Just how did these pine trees make it to Hawaii you ask? You can learn of the story at the Lana’I Culture and Heritage center in Lana’I City:
“It was a lone Norfolk Island Pine, planted at Koele in 1878, that in 1911, alerted ranch manager, George C. Munro, to the importance of the fog coming off of Lanai Hale as a producer of valuable water in the form of fog drip. Hearing the constant drip of water on the corrugated roof of the ranch house situated along side the Norfolk Pine, Munro realized that the pine boughs collected water from the fog and clouds. As a result, Munro initiated a program of planting pines across Lanai. The pines seen around Lanai today, are Cook Island Pines which were initially planted under Munros’ management.”
While on the Koloiki trail I loved simply stopping, standing completely still, looking up at the towering pines and listening. It’s not often that I take the time to slow down and listen to the world around me. The tall pine trees rustled about in the wind, birds chirped, the pine aroma filled the air and it was peaceful – a perfect getaway for a couple of hours to remind me of what’s important in life.
Koloiki Ridge Trail begins at the Ko’ele Lodge
Distance: 5 miles round trip
Landscape: Manicured golf course, forested areas, and open ridges where you can see other Hawaiian islands
Disclosure: I was a guest of Visit Lana’i as a part of their New Media Artist in Residence Program. All views expressed here are my own honest opinions and do not reflect the views of Visit Lana’i.