Kapalua Resort Association seeks funds to expand Coastal Trail
KAPALUA – The network of trails at Kapalua Resort winds along the rugged north shore coastline and into the West Maui Mountains, offering safe access to walking paths for all types of day-trekkers. The views are world-class spectacular, and the trails are rated easy to difficult.
The Coastal Trail currently extends north from Kapalua Bay Beach, across the sand dunes at Oneloa Bay, through the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua to D.T Fleming Beach Park, linking a network of footpaths including Honolua Ridge, Maunalei Arboretum, Mahana Ridge and Village Walking Trails.
At the recent County Council budget hearing, Paul Brown, Kapalua Resort Association executive director, introduced plans for Phase II of the Coastal Trail project, connecting Fleming Beach to Mokuleia Bay (a.k.a. Slaughterhouse Beach).
The eventual goal is to link the various seaboard segments to Honolua Bay.
“The amazing trail provides public access for literally hundreds of people a day along some of the beautiful coastline on Maui,” Brown described.
“The trail was built by Maui Land and Pineapple (MLP),” Brown continued, “and is maintained by Kapalua Resort Association (KRA).
“The trail design (for Phase 2) was completed for MLP, and all of the necessary permits were issued but have since expired,” Brown noted in his testimony to council members at the evening hearing held at the Lahaina Civic Center on April 15.
“KRA would like to proceed with the construction of the next section from Flemings to Slaughterhouse Bay but doesn’t have funding available to cover the estimated cost of $250,000,” the KRA executive added.
The project overview notes that the potential trail routes will link “otherwise unused but very attractive green spaces.”
“The boundary to the north is D.T. Fleming, then it goes up to Plantation Estates. If you can imagine a line coming down from Plantation Estates along the highway, it crosses over,” Brown described and added. “This next section is three-quarters-of-a-mile or a mile from Flemings to Slaughter-house.”
All of it, Brown observed in an interview with Lahaina News, is outside of the Kapalua Resort boundaries.
Northwest Trails Inc. of Bellingham, Washington, is the trail designer and potential construction contractor.
“Trail development standards for Phase II of the Coastal Trail will be consistent with a typical five foot wide walking path,” the overview advised.
It will be a gravel pathway.
“As part of this project, a trail hub with limited parking will be established mauka of Fleming Beach. The intent is to create an identifiable starting area where the systems come together,” the design summary cited.
The trail will be exclusively used by walkers.
Brown outlined funding needs in his testimony to the council: “We recently received a pledge from a state trails agency to contribute $30,000 for the project and would like to ask the mayor and the council to earmark $150,000 from the county budget.
“KRA will work on finding other funding sources to cover the remainder, and KRA will maintain the trail after it is built.” Brown testified.
Further, “MLP has granted permanent easements for the trail which is on MLP land,” Brown remarked.
“I believe we have about 20 miles of trails in Kapalua that are open to the public. In fact,” Brown commented, “over 90 percent of the trail users are not Kapalua residents or resort guests but residents and visitors from other parts of the island.”
The KRA is a Hawaii nonprofit chartered in 1977.
“Generally speaking, this corporation is organized to provide for the management, maintenance, protection, preservation, aesthetic and architectural control and development of property on the Island of Maui; within an area known as the Kapalua Resort,” its website (kapaluara.com) reads.
One Yelp reviewer enthusiasticallyposted: “One of the most beautiful strolls I have ever taken, right up there with Italian coastline Cinqueterra!”
“Kapalua has miles of trails from mountain ridges to the coastline. You’ll find trails weaving a diverse tapestry through the land for every kind of hiker,” a promotional piece reads.
“Please help us add another section to this beautiful trail,” Brown added.