“Take the flat boardwalk winding through the edge of Kealia Pond Natl. Wildlife Refuge to spot birds.”
— Megan W
Open 7am to 7pm, foot-traffic only.
Features: Birding — Swimming — Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
This level, easy out-and-back boardwalk trail is suitable for all abilities. The only downside is that there is no shade here, so it will be most pleasant in the morning and evening. This is also a family-friendly walkway- it is fenced in so little ones can't escape! Numerous interpretive signs explain the refuge and include pictures of the birds to look for. The path winds through sandy areas next to bogs while paralleling the beautiful Sugar Beach. One option is to treat yourself to a dip in the ocean (Ma'alaea Bay) after completing the boardwalk.
Across the road is the largest natural pond remaining on Maui. This pond and associated mudflats make up the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. This important sanctuary is where waterfowl from Asia and North America come to winter. Before gaining protection, this area was used as one of the first runways in Maui, and in WWII it was used to train Marines. Before all of that, however, it was a fishpond with a series of dikes used by ancient Hawaiians to raise fish to eat.
Flora & Fauna
Birding galore! Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian stilt, 30 different species. The interpretive signs remind folks that being quiet and patient increases the chances of seeing wildlife!