Leisure and Mountain Biking in Hawaii

By Andy Beth Miller

Author James E. Starrs once claimed that, “Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling,” and we couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to the immeasurable joy one experiences when pedaling around paradise. From Oʻahu to Maui, and across the Big Island and Kauaʻi, options abound for both the leisure and mountain biker enthusiast to enjoy.

Biking in Kapaa.  Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

Biking in Kapaa. Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

For visitors on Oʻahu, no need to purchase wheels, as plenty of bike rentals may be found island wide. Once you’ve procured your wheels, leisure bikers will enjoy pedaling their ways along Oʻahu locales like the North Shore’s Malaekahana or Pupukea bike paths, as well as within Honolulu’s Ala Moana Beach Park. Kailua town—an especially pedestrian-friendly area on the windward side—is one particular place offering rentals available daily, right along its main street thoroughfare. For those seeking a bit more of a challenge, off-road and mountain biking options on Oʻahu include cruising through Kaʻaʻawa Valley, kicking up some dirt while mountain biking across the North Shore’s Kaʻena Point, or climbing and crashing through exciting ruts and rivets up (and down) the super intense Kealia Trail.

More biking adventures await on Maui, with the 23-mile downhill jaunt that descends the slopes of famed Haleakalā. The ride begins just outside the entrance of Haleakala National Park and is among the most popular choices for pedalers. Enjoy epic views while cruising downhill with the cool island breeze across your face, refreshing you as you go.

Kauaʻi keeps the good times rolling, with equally wondrous biking options, including its Ke Ala Hele Makalae, a lovely bike path that makes its way meandering along the coast of Kauaʻi’s idyllic east side. Also to be enjoyed is a leisurely, yet absolutely exhilarating, Waimea Canyon downhill bike excursion where you can take in the scenic panoramas of the world famous site, while simply enjoying a (practically) pedal-free descent.

Not to be left out, the Big Island boasts perhaps some of the best and most epically stunning cycling options in Hawaiʻi. Opt to cruise through the myriad of vistas and offshoot trails found in Volcanoes National Park, or make the memory of a lifetime pedaling along the pristine and stark beauty of the Big Island’s jaw-dropping Mauna Loa Road.

No matter which island you visit, or what specific bike route(s) you select, these Hawaiian Islands literally “roll out” the welcome mat, paving the way for your unforgettable paradise cycling memories. Safe journeys and a hui hou!

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