Plan Your Visit

Stilt head

Keālia Pond NWR provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. More than 6,000 people visit the refuge each year to engage in various wildlife-oriented activities, including bird watching, photography, environmental education and interpretation, habitat restoration projects to remove invasive species, and outplanting with Hawai‘i’s native vegetation.

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Keālia Pond NWR Information
Watchable Wildlife

The refuge is open to the public for wildlife and wildland observation Mondays to Fridays (excluding Federal holidays), 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Located on the south-central coast of Maui, the refuge is accessible from all directions. The entrance road to the refuge, located at milepost 6 on Mokulele Highway (Highway 311), is almost one mile north of the town of Kihei. The office, a modular trailer, is less than 0.3 mile from the entrance road’s intersection with Mokulele Highway. Parking is limited. Please call in advance if there are more than 20 people.

The refuge biologist conducts bird censuses one to two times per month (usually the 1st and 3rd Thursdays). On these days, walking trails do not open until after 9:00 a.m. In addition, areas may be closed for access during Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt nesting seasons to eliminate human disturbances.

Visitor access is along the Kanuimanu Ponds’ levees which are flat and easy walking, and though a little bumpy, also accommodate wheelchairs. These ponds were constructed in 1970 for an aquaculture venture (catfish) which ended in 1995. In 2005, the Fish and Wildlife restored the ponds that are now managed for waterbirds and visitor access.

The best time to visit is in the morning, when the sun and wind are not as strong. Shaded areas are very limited on the refuge so we recommend you come prepared with sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and water.