Kanepuu Preserve

Scroll to Continue

Kanepuu Preserve

What: 590-acre dryland forest featuring native plants
Where: About 20 minutes northwest of Lanai City
More Info: Four-wheel drive vehicle is required
 
The Kanepuu Preserve, on the west side of Lanai, 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 Hawaii. 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 mau hau hele and trees like the lama, a native ebony, and aiea, 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 Kanepuu 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 Hawaii. Illustrated signs along the way help describe the tough challenges that lay in store for this rare ecosystem as it faces restoration.