Hawaii Mom Blog: Harold L. Lyon Arboretum




May 5, 2016

Harold L. Lyon Arboretum

Nestled deep in Manoa Valley at the end of Manoa Road is a tropical rainforest filled with more than 5,000 tropical plant species.  There are 12 different gardens and numerous trails throughout the property for visitors to explore.  The Arboretum is open to the public, and admission and parking is free, so it's a great place to take the family on a sunny day.

The four of us and a couple of friends set out on an adventure at the Arboretum one Saturday morning.  We arrived at 9 AM and got one of the last remaining parking spaces.  After signing in at the visitor's center, we set out on the trail.  The trails are primarily made up of either gravel, cobblestones, or grass.  As you go deeper into the valley, the trails are less maintained and manicured and are more like regular hiking trails.  

The boys had a lot of fun hiking and looking at all the big trees and different colored plants and flowers.  The terrain was not too difficult for our 2 1/2 year olds.  Unfortunately due to the rain, we only made it up to the "Hale" and then circled back to the Visitor's Center.  But we'll definitely be back!

Monday -  Friday: 8AM - 4PM
Saturday: 9AM - 3PM
Closed: Sundays, State and Federal Holidays

Free (suggested donation $5)
Must sign in at Visitor's Center


Harold L. Lyon Arboretum
3860 Manoa Road

After parking your car, proceed to the Visitor's Center and sign in at the front desk.  You may also want to go to the restroom while you're there, before you head out on the trail.

Visitor's Center

View from the Visitor's Center

The trail starts off with an easy decline

and soon you'll see the Great Lawn.  Beautiful.
The Great Lawn
Along the trail you'll come across many big trees that are probably thousands of years old.

Every now and then you'll come across the remains of an Albizia tree that was removed a couple of years ago.  Click here for an article on their removal.  

Along the trail you'll see a lot of colorful plants and flowers.  Do any of these look familiar to you?

Not long after we set out, it started to rain. Thankfully we arrived at the hale right as the rain came down, and stayed here until the rain let up.

the Hale

From the Hale we circled back to the Visitor's Center and admired the lily ponds in the back of the Center

The kids loved to look at the fish and tadpoles

The Arboretum is a great place for photography enthusiasts, young and old...

There is so much more to see at the Arboretum.  Until next time...

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