Driving by one afternoon we spied this rest stop outlook and had to take a look. We were disappointed to find out the refuge is closed to the public. I was so looking forward to bird watching and sightseeing. But I suppose if they let tourists in the endangered birds might not thrive. Maybe someday they will open it up when the bird numbers increase. Looking forward to that.
Established in 1972, this 917 acre refuge was created to conserve five species of endangered waterbirds; Koloa maoli (Hawaiian Duck), the Ae‘o (Hawaiian Stilt), ‘Alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian Coot), the ‘Alae‘ula (Hawaiian Common Moorhen), and Nene (Hawaiian Goose). The refuge is not open to the public but can be seen from the outlook and the Okolehao hiking trail (listed as strenuous) runs directly above the refuge.
Hanalei has been used to cultivate taro & rice for the last 1,000 years. 186 acres of the refuge is farmed for taro under a special use permit. Approximately 23 species of waterfowl and 19 species of shorebirds have been seen. White-faced Ibis, Brant, and Osprey are among this long list. 45 species of birds visit the refuge throughout the year.
4280 Kuhio Highway, Princeville, HI 96722