Kanepuu Preserve, Lanai

Kanepuu Preserve

  • Name: Kanepuu Preserve
  • What: 590-acre dryland forest featuring native plants
  • Where: About 20 minutes northwest of Lanai City
  • More Info: 4-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. This is a rare opportunity to view rare, endemic plant species and trees like the lama, a native ebony, and aiea, once used for canoe building.

4-wheel drive to this remote area 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 to describe the tough challenges that lay in store for this rare ecosystem as it faces restoration.