Outside of Hilo on the Big Island, this forest is full of black lava rock making for a technical XC experience.
There are two places to park when riding Kulani. The first is the little pull off on Stainback Hwy where the Google Directions below end. If you don't have a 4 wheel drive vehicle this is probably your best bet. If you do have a 4 wheel drive vehicle you can actually turn south into the forest reserve and follow the jeep road to an inner dirt parking lot. You can actually see it in the middle of the trees on the Google map.
The Kulani trail system is pretty unique. There is not much elevation gain. You don't have any serious, extended climbing going on. You'll be grateful for that. Kulani is tight, twisty and technical. The ground is rough, black lava rock. Add in roots and lot's of short pedals up followed by quick descents and you'll be worn out in no time. The forest is also incredible green and beautiful. The contrast of the black lava rock and green moss has a definite volcanic vibe! The first half hour I felt pretty clumsy as I wasn't use to such tight technical terrain on Oahu. It wasn't long before I started to feel more comfortable and the trail started to really flow.
The trail system is relatively small but without a guide I would feel lost. The good thing is that even though we rode 10 miles, the furthest we got from our truck was about 1 mile!
I enjoy Kulani and can't wait to ride there again.
Clicking on the link above you bring you to Google Maps where directions to the trail are plotted in from Honolulu Airport.
Download the GPX file and use your favorite software to upload trail data to your GPS. Right click on the link and select "Save Link As..." in order to download it.