Do I need to check-in to go hiking?
No. The trails are open from early morning until sunset.
Where do I get a trail map?
You can pick one up at the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) office located above the HNC main office and classroom. Or you can go to www.hawaiitrails.org.
Where does the trail start?
The trail head is just past the parking lot. The Arboretum Trail leads up to the State Park area, just mauka (toward the mountains) of HNC. Just across the bridge, the main portion of the Makiki-Tantalus trail system begins.
Are the trails safe?
Yes. Trails are well-marked and maintained by DLNR DOFAW Na Ala Hele. Note the pig-hunting signs. You may occasionally run into hunters and their dogs. Non-hunting dogs are required to be on a leash.
Where do I park?
All hikers should park in the parking lot to the left as you first enter the Makiki-Tantalus State Recreation Area. Parking in front of the HNC classroom and main office is reserved for employees, volunteers, and participants of HNC programs.
Are the parking lots safe?
Thefts and car break-ins do occur in the parking lot. Please do not leave valuables in your car.
Is there anything to see or do in the center?
On Oahu the center is only open for our regularly scheduled school and community programs. The center is not open to the general public at this time.
On Maui, the museum and gift shop are currently closed. Please check back for information regarding reopening.
Are there any interpretive trail or plant guides for the area?
HNC Oahu has a trail guide for the Makiki Loop Trail and one for the Kalawahine Trail. There is a small fee for the guides.
Are there any native plants in the area?
There are some native plants around the Center. Also, there is an area of out-planted natives at the beginning of Kanealole Trail on Oahu. In the mountains, the Kalawahine and Manoa Cliff trails offer the most native plants.
How is the Hawaii Nature Center funded?
The Hawaii Nature Center is a private, non-profit organization. Our funding comes from educational program fees, family memberships, contributions from the public, state and federal agencies, corporations and foundations. Please consider becoming a member!
What is the house across the street in from the HNC classroom?
Does someone live there? What about the other houses?
On Oahu, the green house holds HNC’s administrative offices and housing for a DLNR employee. The other homes along the road are private residences that are part of the Maunalaha Hawaiian Community.
What are all the other buildings in the valley?
On Oahu, we share the valley with several organizations. Just past us on the left are the State Department of Land and Natural Resources Forestry offices. Behind our classroom is the State Parks area with restrooms, water, etc. At the beginning of the access road on the right is the campus of Halau Ku Mana, a Hawaiian charter school. The Green Machine is located in the parking lot behind the State Parks restroom and it recycles DLNR and HNC waste water.