Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve
The Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s Proclamation in 1909 for the purpose of protecting watershed areas vital to the lowland agricultural economy. It is located in east Kaua‘i and consists of over 12,500 acres of public land in two separate areas: Wailua and Kalāheo.
Game mammal and Game bird hunting opportunities are offered on the six major islands in the State of Hawai‘i: (Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and the big island of Hawai‘i). Each of these islands has one or more State-designated public hunting areas (called Hunting Units), which are open for hunting at certain times during each year. Game mammal and game bird hunting opportunities are also available on private lands as well. Occasionally, the Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) may modify or cancel a hunting season in a particular area to adjust for changes in weather conditions or animal populations.
Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hunting Website
Game Mammal Hunting Rules and Exhibits
Game Bird Hunting Rules and Exhibits
DOFAW’s current principle objective for the management of Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve is to maintain the area for multiple uses, including watershed protection, recreation (especially hiking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, four-wheel driving, and commercial ecotourism), maintenance of the Keāhua Arboretum, and possible timber and/or biomass plant production.
Infrastructure consists primarily of Na Ala Hele Trails, rough roads, and picnic facilities. The Reserve’s Keāhua Arboretum is a popular day-use area. Public hunting (mammals only) is allowed in Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve; camping is not.
To access the Wailua section of the Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve by car, follow Highway 580 (Kuamo‘o Road) mauka from Wailua town to the Keāhua Arboretum, where parking is available. From here, 4WD vehicles may proceed southbound into the Reserve along the Wailua Forest Management Road. The Kalāheo section of the Forest Reserve may be reached via two unmaintained rights-of-way: one near the end of Kua Road, where a small parking area is available, and another off Pu‘u Wai Road.
Na Ala Hele, the State of Hawai‘i Trail and Access Program, manages three trails at Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve: Powerline Trail, Kuilau Trail, and Wailua Forest Management Road. Hiking on undesignated trails is not recommended due to the potential for natural hazards.
Additional Public Use
Hunting: DOFAW manages public hunting on all forest reserve lands on Kaua‘i by the regulation of hunting seasons, bag limits, and varied hunting methods. DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) carries out enforcement of hunting regulations (Chapter 122 Rules Regulating Game Bird Hunting, and Chapter 123 Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting). General hunting regulations can be found in HRS Title 13 Chapter 121. Līhu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve contains three of four Game Animal management classes
Game animal hunting is allowed throughout the majority of both sections of Līhu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve, which lie within hunting unit “C”. Game mammals found within the hunting unit include feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and feral goats (Capra hirca),. DOFAW regulates game mammal hunting according to HRS Title 13 Chapter 123; hunting units on Kaua‘i are described in §13-123-15 and mapped in Chapter 123 Exhibit 2. Game bird hunting is not permitted in the Forest Reserve, although it permitted is in the adjacent Wailua GMA.
Hunting in all of these forest areas is restricted to weekends, Mondays, and State holidays unless otherwise allowed by special hunts. Illegal hunting activity occurs, but it has been controlled to 31 some degree by a system of locked gates during weekdays. Contact the Kaua‘i DOFAW office for current hunting rules including seasons and bag limits. A public shooting range is planned at Hanhanapuni in the Wailua section of the Forest Reserve.
Camping: Camping is not allowed in Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve.
Fishing: Opportunities exist to fish for small mouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui) in the Wailua section of the Forest Reserve.
Hiking: Many opportunities exist for hiking in Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve. See Section G: Access above.
Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is allowed on the Powerline Trail and the Kuilau Trail. See Section G: Access above for more details. Parking for trailers and a “horse parking” area is available at the Keāhua Arboretum.
Dirt Bikes, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Mountain Bikes: Dirt bikes are allowed on Powerline Trail and the Wailua Forestry Road if registered by the County Division of Motor Vehicles. ATVs are not allowed in Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve. Mountain bikes (nonmotorized) are allowed on all trails in the Reserve.