When I was a young tike not yet living on Maui, my family and I would vacation on the island during my summer breaks. One of my favorite things to do year after year was sled down the steep grassy hills found at Rice Park in Kula.
Rice Park is a small 3.8 acre park found about halfway up Haleakala volcano in the town called Kula. As far as parks go, it is pretty basic. A couple picnic tables, a bar-b-cue pit, restroom, and a parking lot that can hold about 10 cars. But as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.
There are two compelling reasons to include a trip to Rice Park while vacationing on Maui. First off, the views are incredible. At about 3000 feet above sea level, you have unobstructed views of the entire Maui valley below you (see picture below). On clear days I would argue that Rice Park provides the best location on Maui to snap a photo. It is not uncommon to see locals stop at the park on the way home from work to drink a beer and enjoy the incredible vantage point for viewing a Maui sunset. You may want to think about planning an evening trip to the park paired with dinner at the Kula Lodge, or a list of restaurants found in Makawao (try Casanova’s!).The second reason to visit Rice Park is the terrain. As I mentioned above, the park is only 3.8 acres, but a majority of this land is on a steep grass slope. Local kids and tourists-in-the-know show up with cardboard boxes and slick-bottom boogie boards to ride down the grass hills. Trust me when I say that your children will be all smiles as they glide down the grassy slopes. If you can’t talk a Safeway or Star Market employee into giving you a large cardboard box to take with you to Rice Park, no worries, there are plenty of used boxes at the top of the hill.
Have fun and slide safe!
[Photo source: Rickyli99]