Travel insights from Taylor Coulson, contributing editor of The Compass

Hawaii is for Bike Lovers

Leave crowded museums and double-decker bus tours back on the mainland and head to Hawaii, where biking to one of the world’s most active volcanoes is an average adventure. Here are the top two islands for intrepid bicyclists and other places to cycle around.

Big Island Views

Pedal through paradise atop a hybrid mountain bicycle to Kilauea Volcano and Halemaumau Crater’s lava lake with Bike Volcano on their signature cycling adventure in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It’s still vacation, so the twisted trails from the 4,000-foot summit to the sea are mostly downhill and paved. Switch gears to hike or walk by volcanic terrain like a black sand beach, thermal hot ponds, tree tunnels, steaming vents (still from the May 2018 eruption), tropical rainforests and captivating scenery. Traveling on bike and foot makes it easy to capture panoramic Big Island views.

Craving another biking adventure? Viator’s cyclists pedal through 100 acres of Anna Ranch, an historic property that was once home to the First Lady of Ranching. The journey is sprinkled with vibrant fields and paths crafted for cyclists to mountain bike like never before. Ride along the Kohala Mountain slopes; volcanoes like Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hualalai; or hike the Kohakohau stream near a 40-foot waterfall. Cyclists catch exclusive glimpses of Hawaii while on this Big Island ride.

Maui Mornings

Mornings in Maui are best spent at sunrise atop Mount Haleakala via bicycle. After watching the sun come up on the 10,000-foot summit, descend the mountain on the zigzagged trails for that morning breeze. Put the brakes on biking and fly across five zip-lines in Haleakala National Park where you can take in vibrant, volcanic landscapes. If zip-lining isn’t for you, you can skip it and cycle to the sea instead. Not enough action for a day? Take a walk through Maui Lavender, a lavender farm and café.

If you’re a bicyclist and interested in Hawaiian history, take a sunrise ride through Haleakala National Park with Viator. After pedaling down 21 switchbacks, you’ll experience parts of the park that are off limits to tour buses. Your professional guide will have insight on the flora, fauna and geology you’re crossing along your 26-mile trip to Paia – a beach town once known for sugar cane and now known for Hookipa Beach, the “windsurfing capital of the world.”

Where do you like to bike in Hawaii?

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