The longest route in the Village Walking Trails is the 3.6-mile Lake Loop. It’s also the more strenuous of the two main circuits. (The 1.25-mile Cardio Loop is rated as “Moderate.”) It’s a hilly route involving close to 800 feet of elevation gain. Almost all of the Loop is paved, though, save for one short section where the trail comes close to the Honoapiilani Highway.
The hilliness stems from the layout of the Village Walking Trails on the far northwestern slopes of the West Maui Mountains where they ease down to the Kapalua coast. The paths mark old golf-cart tracks: These grounds are a former golf course. (The resort has a couple of active—and internationally acclaimed—golf courses nearby.)
A little history to add some context to your ramble: Kapalua Resort is owned by the Maui Land & Pineapple Company and occupies the former Honolua Plantation. That pineapple-growing operation evolved from the Honolua Ranch, established by Dwight Baldwin in the 1800s, and initially cultivating crops such as taro, coffee, and aloe.
This being Hawaii, of course, the human history stretches far back beyond the Honolua Ranch. Kapalua Resort encompasses several ancient ahupuaa, the traditional Hawaiian land-allocation units, including the Mahinahina and Kahana ahupuaa.
Reach the Lake Loop from the Kapalua Village Center via a 0.2-mile access path. It passes under the Honoapiilani Highway by a tunnel.
Give yourself an hour or two to enjoy the Lake Loop. It’s good for burning calories, sure, but there are also spots to savor the scenery and ambiance. Fields, groves, and occasional sightlines out to the ocean and to Molokai treat the eye. Among the pathside vegetation, you might pick out guavas, passionfruit, papaya, wild pepper, and Norfolk pines.
The Lake Loop tops out at a rather idyllic duck pond. This is the perfect place to take a breather while admiring the pond’s feathered residents.
Be sure to bring ample water and sun protection for the Lake Loop. Also, have a rain shell you can throw on: This is a wet part of the island, and you may well get showered upon.
The Lake Loop of the Kapalua Village Walking Trails is a great option for a little exercise during a stay in the far northwest of Maui. And the ducks are the icing on the cake!
If you want a shortcut back to the trailhead on your return walk, there’s a connector trail to the more direct Cardio Loop coming down from the duck pond.