Equestrian Trails of Hawaii
Hawaii is more than just beaches, ocean sports and high life luxury. There’s plenty of rough and tumbled country to explore for those that like a raw adventure in the wild. Hawaiian cowboys, known as paniolos, run the country and maintain a relatively untouched landscape of cattle fields, agricultural lands, hunting trails and horseback riding areas.
Horseback riding seems to be an activity that doesn’t get much play because it’s not a typical Hawaii activity. But it is an equally great way to explore the islands, especially the lesser-known parts, and all the beauty on offer in the countrysides. You can find horseback riding companies throughout the Aloha state, and this post is dedicated to naming the best two Equestrian trails of Hawaii on each main island in Hawaii.
- Happy Trails Hawaii, Pupukea, Oahu
- Tucked away in Pupukea- a lush green valley ridge on Oahu’s north shore- Happy Trails offers rides through ironwood tree forests, rainforests and expansive ranch lands. Stunning views of Waimea Valley and the seven-mile miracle will leave you in awe of Oahu’s country. This company is also the only licensed horse ranch on Oahu that allows kids as young as 6 years old to ride on their own, so it’s a great place to take the whole family.
- Kualoa Ranch, Kaneohe Oahu
- This property is a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch located at the base of the Koolau mountain range on Oahu’s east side. Here you can enjoy views of the rich green countryside, sparkling blue waters of the Pacific and points of interest within the Kualoa Ranch property. Not only is this plot expansive and natural, but it also boasts filming grounds from Hollywood classics like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Godzilla, Lost and many more.
- CJM Country Stables, Poipu, Kauai
- Local paniolo guides will take guests on a trail ride through dusty cliff sides, green mountainous areas and ridges that overlook the stunning south side of Kauai. Panoramic views of some of the island’s most secluded beaches are on offer during this trail ride, and guests can enjoy beach swims and picnics during their day. Stable owners and trail guides ask that you “come join me!” (CJM) at their beautiful and sunny horseback riding retreat.
- Silver Falls Ranch, Hanalei, Kauai
- This ranch takes guests to some of the most beautiful sights of Kauai’s north shore. From the remote interior parts to the sprawling ranch land and Kilauea Wildlife Refuge, you can explore a wide variety of scenery at Silver Falls Ranch. The waterfall ride is a wonderful way to blend horseback riding and a dip in Silver Falls waterfall, or check out the botanical gardens and wild lands during the Tropical Trail Adventure. With 300 pristine acres of land, a horseback ride at Silver Falls Ranch is ideal for exploring the north shore.
- Ironwood Ranch, Napili-Honokowai, Maui
- Hawaii Magazine touted this ranch as the “best place to find yourself on horseback” and it’s easy to see why. Ironwood Ranch is located high up in the west Maui Mountains and offers a variety of trail rides. From lush valleys and pineapple fields to open countrysides and panoramic views of Maui’s neighboring islands, Ironwood Ranch is a great way to maximize your experience on the Valley Isle.
- Triple L Ranch, Kula, Maui
- An authentic Hawaiian cattle ranch, Triple L Ranch is located in Kanaio, a lush area of Kula in Maui’s interior. Famous for their horseback beach rides, guests can choose from a variety of rides including custom tours with a BBQ lunch, Kanaio beach retreats and custom rides with burgers. As a working cattle ranch, Triple L prides themselves on their 100% all natural beef and their 6 to 10 oz. “best burgers ever” from Bully’s Burgers rustic, open air ranch style eatery on the property.
- Na‘alapa Stables, Waipio Valley, Big Island
- Waipio Valley is a must during your Big Island vacation, and what better way to enjoy “The Valley of the Kings” than via horseback? Leisurely trot through taro fields, tropical forests, waterfalls and vistas that will surely take your breath away, or experience Kahua Ranch, 45 minutes from Waikoloa. With so many trail options at Na‘alapa Stables, you’ll get to know the Big Island and witness its vast beauty first hand.
- Paniolo Adventures, Kohala, Big Island
- With 11,000 acres spanning across 3 climate zones, The Ponoholo Ranch of Paniolo Adventures reaches from the mountains to the ocean. Views of both the Kohala and Kona coastlines will stun your senses, and the Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes will have you in awe over the Big Island’s raw landscapes. With five different rides to choose from plus a private option, you won’t be short of paniolo style adventuring at this ranch.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher