Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens

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This massive park is quiet and secluded. It was designed to catch runoff from the Ko’olaus and many plants from other Pacific islands are featured in the gardens. There is a pond and ducks to feed near the visitor center. Wild pigs do rummage about here, so you’ll see the tell-tale digging marks in the grass. I have not encountered one personally, but just be aware that it’s a bit more remote here and you could stumble across one.

Exertion: Relatively level terrain with a few hills if you choose to tackle them. One has a great view of the windward side and a nice graphic showing how the area is really part of an ancient crater. You can find this uphill by driving past the visitor center and looking for a little road off to the right. It may be fenced off for park personnel only, so just park across the street in the lot and hike back up the steep grade. About 100 yards up you’ll see the sign off on your right near some benches.
Sun exposure: While there is lots of shade available, the park is expansive and you will have to cross some wide open areas. Be prepared with lots of water and sunscreen.
Treachery: Very very low – some slippery roots, maybe a wild pig…
Lunch spot: Many shaded picnic areas available.

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This park is in Kaneohe. Visit the Dept of Parks and Rec website for detailed maps and directions.

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