Logistics are always an issue with Lana‘i mountain biking, however, and unless you’re into a leg-burning ascent after your downhill ride, a one-way transport will need to be arranged. If riding on the Awehi Trail, Naha Trail, or anywhere on the island’s “back side,” tire-puncturing kiawe thorns can be a pesky issue, so pack a pump and an extra tube.
If mountain biking sounds a little too intense, horseback is a great way to get out and explore. Lana‘i is as steeped in its ranching heritage as anywhere else in Hawaii. Many forget this island was one huge sheep and cattle ranch where paniolos on horseback roamed the terrain. Though cattle no longer roam free on the island’s barren slopes, the island’s ranching heritage lives on. Currently, the Stables at Koele (1 Keomuku Hwy., 808/563-9385) are closed for renovation, but will reopen along with the attached Four Seasons Resort when complete. Until then, you can book through Hotel Lana‘i. Keep an eye out for axis deer or mouflon sheep as you ride at your own pace on excursions geared to your skill level. The knowledgeable guides fortify the excursion with tales of the island’s history and inside local info.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.