Maui with kids: Best family-friendly hiking in Kapalua

D.T. Fleming Beach in Kapalua is home to some great family-friendly hiking trails. Photo credit: Jason Zack
D.T. Fleming Beach in Kapalua is home to some great family-friendly hiking trails. Photo credit: Jason Zack

There are tons of different hiking trails to explore with your kids on Maui. Here's a snapshot of the trails that line the west side in Kapalua. Although just a short ten minute drive from busy and hot Lahaina town, Kapalua can offer cooler temperatures, sometimes rain drops, and lush, green trails for you to go on an adventure with your kids.

Just past the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, on Lower Honoapiilani, is world-famous D.T. Flemming Beach park. Park your car at the Flemming's parking lot, then walk back up Lower Honoapiilani road, just past the preschool, where you'll see the entrance to the trail. This is a good hike to do with kids that are on the younger side. It's not too long but offers enough adventure and cool things to explore. After your hike you can cool off at Flemming's beach and watch the surfers. Sometimes these waves are a bit too much for the small folk but it can be just as fun to watch. There are bathrooms, barbecues, picnic tables, and showers at the park, so pack a lunch and take a break after your hike.

Head past Flemming Beach you'll find the Honolua Ridge & Maunalei Arboretum Trails. Tucked high above in a residential area, these trails are lined with plaques identifying the trees and plants that make up this hideaway. The trail wraps around to where you can get the ultimate shot of Honolua ridge (the perfect spot for a photo opp), which is covered in a lush landscape that will take your breathe away. You do have to take a shuttle to get to the Arboretum, since it's in a private neighborhood. Times of the shuttles and where to hitch a ride can be found here. One eco-friendly bathroom and a picnic table is located at the entrance to the arboretum. Pack water, bug spray, and a light jacket in case it's cool or raining.

Another favorite, with spectacular views, is the Village Walking Trails. The entrance is located on the mountain side of Honoapiilani Highway at Office Road. This used to be the old Village golf course so it's paved; If you want to bring a jogger or stroller on your hike, this is your place. It does have some pretty steep hills but we managed successfully with a stroller and a four-year-old. Once at the top you'll find a pond with ducks and a phenomenal view of the Pacific and the islands lining the Maui coast. The Village Walking Trails offer quite the workout for the entire family and are filled with butterflies for the kieki (kids) to enjoy. The trail is extremely long, with one part ending at Kapalua Adventures. End your hike with lunch at the Honolua store where they have local mixed-plate specials, a coffee bar, and other tasty treats.

- Sarah Burns of The Ohana Mama

Photo Credit: Zacklur/Flickr

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