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Molokai

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NATURE

PRESERVES

HALAWA VALLEY
Located about 27 miles from Kaunakakai, at the end of the road (Highway 450) at the northeast tip of the island.
(East Molokai)
A lush valley that once supported a large population that grew taro in the numerous wetland fields fed by the valley's streams. Many are now being restored. Locale of ancient heiaus and two plunging waterfalls, the 250-foot Moaula Falls and the 500-foot Hipuapua Falls. A beach park is located where the valley meets the sea.

HAWAII FORESTRY & WILDLIFE DIVISION
Maui District Office
Department of Land & Natural Resources
54 South High Street, Room 101
Wailuku, HI 96793
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri. (Closed weekends/holidays)
(Island of Maui)
Tel. (808) 984-8100
Information on Molokai's Forest Reserves.

HAWAII STATE PARKS
Dept. Of Land & Natural Resources
54 South High Street, Rm. 101
Wailuku, HI 96793
(Island of Maui)
Tel. (808) 984-8109
Hours: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Closed Weekends and State Holidays)
Information on Molokai's Palaau State Park.

KALAUPAPA NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
P. O. Box 2222
Kalaupapa, HI 96742
(Central Molokai, North Shore)
Tel. (808) 567-6802
The park contains the Kalaupapa Peninsula, site of the historic Hansen's Disease (leprosy) settlements of Kalaupapa and Kalawao, adjacent cliffs and valleys, and submerged lands and waters out to 1/4 mile from shore. Spectacular north shore sea cliffs, narrow valleys, a volcanic crater, rain forest, lava tubes and caves, and off-shore islands and waters are in the park. Several of these areas provide rare native habitat for threatened or endangered Hawaiian plants and animals. There are 8,725 acres of land and 2,000 acres of water within the park's authorized boundary. Hawaiian people inhabited the peninsula and valleys for hundreds of years prior to the establishment of the first isolation settlement at Kalawao in 1866. Evidence of this occupation is relatively undisturbed and represents one of the richest archaeological preserves in Hawaii. Listed below are other sites of interest in the park and park access requirements. For more information, please visit the park's Web site.
  • The Molokai Lighthouse , the tallest U.S. lighthouse in the Pacific Ocean, stands on the northern tip of the peninsula. Built in 1909, its 138-foot concrete tower remains unchanged since its construction and is one of the few original lighthouse structures still in use in Hawaii.
  • The Park Visitor Center has interpretive materials and artifact display cases. Wayside exhibits on the peninsula's people, history and archaeology are located throughout the park.
  • The two churches: Siloama, established in 1866, and Saint Philomena associated with the work of Father Damien (Joseph De Veuster). Both are located in Kalawao on the windward side of the peninsula.
  • The Puu Uao Lookout which offers a view of the Kauhako Crater claimed by limnologists to be one of the most peculiar lakes in the world. The surface of the lake is very near sea level and the bottom is over 800 feet deep - the fourth deepest lake in the United States. Its deep columnar tube, layered with fresh, brackish, and salt water, is home to two species of native shrimp.
Access (Restricted):
NOTE: Not only is access to the peninsula limited, but access to the resources on the peninsula is limited. Visitors on the tour learn mostly about the history of Hansen's disease in Hawaii and its famous caregivers, especially Father Damien. There is little opportunity to view, or to learn much about many of the other resources.
  • There are three types of visitation at the park: those who view the peninsula from the overlook at Palaau State Park, visitors who tour historic Kalaupapa and Kalawao through a commercial tour, and guests of residents.
  • There is no vehicular access to the Kalaupapa Peninsula. It is surrounded on 3 sides by ocean and on a 4th side by a steep cliff (pali).
  • There is a trail from topside Molokai down the cliffs but the trail has a 1,700 feet elevation, is 3 miles long and has 26 switchbacks resulting in a steep climb back! Most accidents that occur are slips and falls while hiking down the trail. During the wet season (usually winter), the trail can be very wet and slippery. The trail is accessed off Hwy. 470 near Palaau State Park and the Kalaupapa overlook.
  • The park can be reached by air through commercial and charter flights from Honolulu, Oahu, from Maui, and from Hoolehua, Molokai. Some visitors arrive by private boats. Others hike the steep Kalaupapa trail or arrange for a mule ride tour through the Park Concessionaire Molokai Mule Rides, Inc. Damien Tours, owned and operated by a Kalaupapa resident, offers the commercial tour of Kalaupapa.
  • The administration of the Hansen's disease settlement and control of public access into the area are still under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Health. All visitors to the park must receive a permit from the Department of Health to enter the Kalaupapa settlement. The commercial tour company arranges the permit for their customers. Guests of residents have their permits arranged by their sponsor.
  • No children under age 16 are allowed on Kalaupapa.

MOLOKAI DISTRICT
Dept. of Parks & Recreation
90 Ainoa Street
P. O. Box 1055
Kaunakakai, HI 96748
(Central Molokai)
Tel. (808) 553-3204
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mon.-Fri. (Closed weekends/holidays)
Information on Molokai's county parks.

MOLOKAI'S NATURAL AREA RESERVES
(East Molokai)
Molokai has 2 natural area reserves: the Puu Alii (approx. 1,330 acres) and the Olokui (approx. 1,620 acres). Both are located in the extremely remote and inaccessible mountainous area of northeast Molokai. For more information, please contact the Natural Area Reserves System, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 224, Honolulu, HI 96813, Tel. (808) 587-0063.

NATURE CONSERVANCY OF HAWAII
Molokai Preserves Office
P. O. Box 220
Kualapuu, HI 96757
(Central Molokai)
Tel. (808) 553-5236
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii's mission is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Conservancy, a non-profit organization, has three Preserves on Molokai: the Pelekunu Preserve, the Kamakou Preserve and the Moomomi Preserve. The Nature Conservancy's literature states:

  • Pelekunu Preserve: (Not open to the public due to its fragile nature and for safety reasons.) The Pelekunu Preserve (5,714 acres) is located along Molokai's extremely rugged north coast, featuring the tallest sea cliffs in the world. Pelekunu Preserve protects one of Hawaii's last remaining free-flowing streams, home to at least seven native aquatic species.
  • Kamakou Preserve: (Open to the public - Requires 4-wheel drive vehicle and excellent driving skills.) The rain forest of Kamakou Preserve (2,774 acres) lies near the summit of Molokai's highest mountain. Here you will find more than 250 species of Hawaiian plants - at least 219 of which can be found nowhere else in the world. This lush rain forest is also home to countless native insects, supporting a unique array of birds.
  • Moomomi Preserve: (Open to the public - Requires 4-wheel drive vehicle and a Nature Conservancy issued permit.) At first glance, the dunes of Moomomi appear nearly barren. Yet within vast communities of native grasses and shrubs grow more rare coastal species than in any other single place in the main Hawaiian Islands. In addition, the Moomomi Preserve (921 acres) is a last stronghold of a major Hawaiian coastal ecosystem, a holdover from an ancient era that contains numerous archaeological sites.
  • Call for information on hikes, volunteer work trips, and memberships, or visit the Conservancy's Web site.

PALAAU STATE PARK
Located at the end of Hwy. 470, about 10 miles northwest of Kaunakakai.
(Central Molokai)
233.7 acres of heavily wooded park sitting at an elevation of 1,600 feet on the edge of steep cliffs that drop to the ocean. There is an excellent view from an overlook at the edge of the cliffs of the historic Kalaupapa peninsula to which persons with Hansen's Disease (leprosy) were once banished. Wayside exhibits at the overlook interpret park themes. Short trail leads to a phallic stone thought to enhance fertility. Tent camping only in an ironwood grove (see Camping). No drinking water is available.

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