There is a lot to do and see on Maui. No surprise. When locals find out we're new to the island, we get a lot of advice on what to do or see next. At this point, we have an extensive (and growing) list. On a whim today, we decided to check out Twin Falls. It's just a few minutes down the road and a great opportunity to change the scenery from our usual hiking path.
You know you've arrived at Twin Falls when you see the Twin Falls Farm Stand. You can't miss it. Right off the Hana Highway, it's a brightly painted bus with equally bright paint on the signage. Their wares range from baked goods to fresh coconuts. Behind the stand are a few picnic tables so you can sit and enjoy these yummy delights. After your hike is best. It's not the most strenuous of trails you'll find on the island, but you'll want to be nimble.
Although we usually spend a bit of time reading about our destination before setting off, this time we didn't. We were being spontaneous. The mood struck and we had some time. Why not? We should have done a bit of research. If I had, I would have worn more appropriate footwear, i.e. slippers. I would also have learned that the property is a family-owned working farm. Wailele Farm is focused on preserving the traditional uses of this area - Ho'olawe Valley. They grow more than 300 varieties of plants that are used for not only food, but medicine, candles, and more. The biodiversity is incredibly impressive and obvious as you make your way to any one of the beautiful falls.
Starting off, we commented about how much easier this hike was than the trail we take to the coast by the house. The surrounding jungle certainly provided ample shade, so it wasn't as hot even in today's mid-80s temps. As we continued our stroll, we noticed a few paths off-shooting from the main. We explored a few and made a note to do more of that on a second trip. There are actually multiple waterfalls in this location, so if you decide to stop, give yourself ample time to explore. It's worth it.
I realized my footwear error when we approached the first stream. Yes, I said first. No, the stream was not a big deal. It was actually crystal clear and beautiful. But I had on my sneakers. Sigh. Wading through the mid-calf deep water, I cringed at the thought of what would now be a squishy, wet hike. Little did I know what was in store. Quickly, the stroll became a series of wading through more water, climbing up and down narrow portions of the now defunct irrigation ditch walls. No more strolling. We were now full-on hiking. And I had a better understanding of why this sign was posted on the entrance gate.
Yes, I saw the sign. No, I shouldn't have been surprised. But I was. Lesson learned. Before you ask - we did not see any wild pigs. Despite these surprises, wet shoes, and the lack of pig sightings, it was all worth it when we came upon this gorgeous view.
As I said before, we will be back to do more exploring. Maybe bring some lunch and make a day of it. It's a gorgeous place on a working farm. You can see more pictures on the Beyond Boundaries Facebook page. If you decide to take a trip out to Twin Falls, be sure to bring some cash. The locals that live on this property allow access for free while picking up the cost of maintaining the trails and port-o-lets for the comfort of visitors. Show your aloha spirit and toss them a little (monetary) appreciation for their efforts. Obviously, leave only your footprints behind.
It makes a great first stop on a Road to Hana trip, but be warned if you get an early start it may not yet be open. Well-behaved pups are allowed. I highly recommend wearing shoes you can get wet as, well, they will - obviously. I'd also suggest wearing your bathing suit and bringing a towel. Nothing is as refreshing as a dip in the beautiful pools beneath the waterfalls on a hot Maui day.
We are still unsure about how we want to go about seeing Hana. We definitely want to take the trip east. We're just not sure about the the Hana Highway. We're now very comfortable with driving on our bit of the legendary road. But after the Twin Falls area, it gets much scarier. Hairpin turn after hairpin turn complicated by portions of the road that are a single lane. It's not for the faint of heart. It's dangerous. We could fly out there, but...well, that's a lot more money than a tank of gas. We could book a tour and let the bus driver handle the road. But again, we question whether that is the best use of our money. Plus, it seems to be one of those things you just have to do when you live here. How can we become true Maui residents if we don't do the Road to Hana. Will we bite the bullet and just do it? Stay tuned...