A jungle trail walk through Maui’s historic Kepaniwai Park

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Aloha!

It feels so good to be writing again! If you wish to follow my adventures to the minute, I’ve been sharing on Instagram HERE.

Anyway, my getaway thus far has proven to be very restful, and with even a little drama attached!

The weather was perfect when I arrived. Time spent dashing from beach to pool to lanai to different beaches to eating haunts to the Maui Swap Meet kept me enjoyably active and clicking pictures.

However, just a few days after I arrived, a huge storm blew in and shut down the entire island’s power. Oh my goodness does this place turn BLACK when not a light is to be found. You feel very disoriented. While the rain will last for another day, the power is (for now) back on again and it was amazing just to be able to make my beloved kona coffee once again. Small pleasures are indeed appreciated once you’ve lost them!

It’s also been a real treat to hang out with my sister! She and her hubby arrived a few days after I did, and it’s been fun seeing the places they gravitate towards.

Donna Williams via Funky Junk Interiors and sister Wendy kissing a palm tree somewhere in Hawaii | funkyjunkinteriors.net
Here’s what transpires when two wet coast Canadians spot a palm tree…

Anyway, I finally have some photos edited of a lovely place I came upon for the first time, which is a must visit in my book.

My attempt to visit the infamous Iao Valley was thwarted when I drove up to a closed sign. Apparently they JUST closed until December for improvements needed after a big storm. Egads!

Since this is a fav area to visit, I decided to stop at the place right in front of the valley called Kepaniwai Park. I’ve been there before and knew how magical it was, but what I found this time totally captivated me!

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

I’m so glad I parked where I did, otherwise I may have missed it. If you squint, you’ll see a bridge… That had me investigating.

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Oh.. a rusty foot-bridge leading into a jungle-styled forest? You know I’m up for that!

So I packed up the camera and phone and set out to see what was there.

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

The rushing river and the sounds of birds totally captivated me. THIS is Hawaii. Natural and raw.

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

The very narrow foot bridge guided you over to the other side of the river. Well, that made this picture-happy Hawaiian-lover blogger happy I can guarantee you that.

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

There were actually lots of people on this walk most likely due to the Iao Valley closure. This is generally a fairly quiet park where the locals gravitate for family gatherings. 

So after I waited until everyone was out of sight, well… isn’t this photo totally dreamy?

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Once on the other side, a windy path cut through the forest led you all along the river.

It’s a very easy fairly flat walk (with a little incline) for anyone that is steady on their feet. (the path is littered with some roots and such).

It apparently goes for quite a ways. I walked until I got my fill of different views, then turned around. I wasn’t really decked out for a real hike but was up for a little new adventure all the same.

A jungle trail walk through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

It really was pretty, and showed you a true, untouched Hawaiian landscape. The views of rambling vines against rushing water changed with every step.

A jungle trail sky view through Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A huge leaf found at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Goodness. Now that’s a leaf!

A leaning tree found at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

This particular day was pretty humid,  however the forest cut out the heat to resemble a comfortable summer’s day at home. Great way to beat the heat!

That said, I always like to ‘dress to sweat’, much like for a bike ride. Then you are ready for anything.

A forest trail walk at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Here’s the view of the bridge coming from the trail back to the parking lot. This valley is just so stunning.

A forest trail walk at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A view of the mountain landscape at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

You really did feel like you were in the middle of nowhere yet you were steps to the parking lot. 

A massive banyan tree at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

After my fab trail find, I wandered through the rest of the park. It appears it is not just a park, but more a park set up in honour of some of Hawaiian’s history, which made it much more of a relevant visit.

A massive banyan tree at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A massive banyan tree at Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park along a long metal bridge leading to the other side of the river. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A historic saltbox in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Could you even imagine having lived here at one time?! It was a little salt box house set in the middle of this beautiful jungle backdrop.

The New England Exhibit, a historic saltbox in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net


The New England Exhibit, a historic saltbox in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net
The historic home dates back to the 1800’s and appears to have been inhabited by traders or missionaries.

You can read more about the New England Exhibit here.

Rustic shutters on the New England Exhibit, a historic saltbox in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

Rustic sage green shutters on the New England Exhibit, a historic saltbox in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. Take the tour! funkyjunkinteriors.net

From a photographer’s perspective, it was a beauty!

A historic hut in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. Gorgeous stone floor! funkyjunkinteriors.net

I don’t know anything about this amazing hut, however it sure attracted my tropically rustic infused eye! I’ll take one, please.

As much as I adore modern conveniences when travelling, it was just such a pleasure to feast my tourist eyes on something so authentically Hawaiian.

A historic hut in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. Gorgeous stone floor! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A historic hut in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. Gorgeous stone floor! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A historic hut in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. Gorgeous stone floor! funkyjunkinteriors.net

A historic hut in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. funkyjunkinteriors.net

I don’t begin to know how it’s still standing with such slim supports, but I’m glad it is.

The rambling natural forest in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. funkyjunkinteriors.net

The rambling natural forest in Maui's Kepaniwai Park. funkyjunkinteriors.net

The rambling natural forest in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. funkyjunkinteriors.net

The rambling natural forest in Maui's historic Kepaniwai Park. funkyjunkinteriors.net

So yes… while this little area was not my intended destination, I’m so glad I made this stop! It’s quick and it’s free and it’s real Hawaii.

The next day, I went on a beach hunt… I’ll share a super special new one with you soon!

Visit other travel posts: / Maui HERE / Travel HERE / Travel 2017 HERE
.

Other must sees while in this area:

Maui Swap Meet (on Saturdays)

Grabbing an acai bowl from Farmacy in Wailuku

Getting some malasadas from Home Made Bakery in Wailuku (to DIE for)

Dinner and a junk tour walk at The Mill House at The Plantation.

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  1. The landscape is just breathtaking, Donna. I don’t blame you for being in love with Hawaii. How wonderful that your sister and her husband joined you. Power outages are no fun, especially when it’s dark outside. I’m glad the power came back. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  2. the little house’s preserved condition is in such contrast to the rusting cars littered along the roads and crumbling structures that just cannot hold up under the moisture and salt sea breezes is just so amazing. Makes one wonder what the builders were onto to keep this one in such good condition. amazing.It was nice to “meet” your sister. I had been unaware of her or your recently mentioned brother. !!NICE>

  3. Donna this is such eye candy! All your photos are so crisp and clear. I’m glad you went and got to meet up with your sister. Isn’t it fun to stumble upon an unexpected area?

  4. Wow stunning pics. Love the vines & the trees wow look at those twists & knarls so beautiful- I’m a tree girl ! Love the walks you took & the views again wow. Totally in love with the little salt box house with those shutters could you imagine just living out there in all that splendour & glory must have been very peaceful but maybe a bit scary at times though?
    Have great time with your sis thankyou for giving your time out to us to show us all your sights feel very honoured indeed. Enjoy everything & relax x

  5. OMW Donna, how abSooooLutely beautiful. It looks like paradise, or how I imagine paradise to be. All those vines and ancient trees. I bet it takes at least 4 people to hug one of those beauties all the way around. Enjoy your trip and the time catching up with your sus