Kanepuu Preserve | Go Hawaii

Kānepuʻu Preserve

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Kānepuʻu Preserve

What: 590-acre dryland forest featuring native plants
Where: About 20 minutes northwest of Lānaʻi City
More Info: Four-wheel drive vehicle is required
The Kānepuʻu Preserve, on the west side of Lānaʻi, encompasses 590 acres and is home to 48 species of native plants. The Nature Conservancy protects this forest, which contains the largest remnants of olopua/lama dry land forest in Hawaiʻi. This type of forest once covered much of the dry lowlands of the Hawaiian Islands. A visit to the preserve is a rare opportunity to view rare, endemic plant species like the rare local hibiscus ma‘o hau hele and trees like the lama, a native ebony, and ʻaiea, once used to build the canoes that sustained many area fishing villages.
Four-wheel drive to this remote area and then take a short, self-guided tour through Kānepuʻu Preserve, which should take less than half an hour using the self-guiding maps at the forest entry. Larger groups can arrange for a guided hike run by the Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi. Illustrated signs along the way help describe the tough challenges that lay in store for this rare ecosystem as it faces restoration.

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