This was our first time at the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area in Kula. Our friends, Jarrett and Kama, reserved a cabin and invited us up with some other friends. We left right after work and headed out at about 5 pm. We caught a ride with Jarrett since our car would likely break down on our way up there.
The road to Polipoli was very twisty and narrow – it seemed like it could last forever; however, the constant uphill drive rewarded us with nice views of central/south Maui. After reaching the shack where hunters are supposed to check in during hunting season, the paved road turned into dirt – and this is where we would recommend driving a 4WD vehicle. By this time it was dark and the dirt road was pretty rough – we encountered numerous dips and large puddles on the road. After about 1.5 hours of driving, we had reached our destination and the cabin was nicer than we had imagined.
After a night filled with Cards Against Humanity, Battle of the Sexes, Rage Cage, and Never Have I Ever, everyone passed out. We were particularly excited to sleep in the cold! But, we ended up forgetting our sleeping bags! Jarrett was nice enough to lend us his sleeping bag and saved us from freezing to death – Thank you Jarrett! Although we were freezing during night, we both managed to enjoy it knowing how humid and hot it was in town.
The morning was absolutely beautiful with the clear blue sky, morning dew, and cool fresh air! It reminded us of the northwest, which we miss so much. Kama and Jarrett made fried rice for breakfast and we also had some hot cocoa. Since we needed to be out before a certain time, we cleaned and packed up early. After leaving the cabin we drove up to the recreation area, which was very close to the cabin.
While people were preparing for the hike, the fog started to creep in – which created some really cool photo ops (see photo of tree above). The trail system within the Kula Forest Reserve was large and offered a lot of trails/loops. We ended up planning out a 4-5 mile hike (Polipoli/Haleakala Ridge/Plum/Tie/Redwood loop).
We could see the fog coming in from a distance. The Polipoli portion of the trail was fairly flat. There were plenty of dead/fallen trees and one section of the trail was covered with thorny bushes – but all in all, it was an easy start to this adventure.
Parts of the trail were muddy and/or covered in tree roots. The creepy haunted forest vibe was awesome – it almost felt as if we were in a scary movie; the type of movie where the rumored “cougar” in this area silently hunted us down one person at a time. On another note, we were definitely loving the cool temperature up here!
At this point, the trail was mostly within the forest. We made it to Tie Trail, but found a ginormous tree blocking the path. We continued down Plum Trail to try to find another way to get to Redwood Trail, which would eventually lead us to the end of our hike.
Eventually, we found our way to the Redwood Trail through all the fog. Little did we know, the trail ended at the cabin. The last part of the trail was hilly with some steeper sections, but manageable. We didn’t expect hiking in the fog almost the entire time, but it was a different experience and we enjoyed ourselves. With all the other trails to explore, we hope to be back up here for more adventures!