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The Road to Hana: Where Legend Meets Reality
It’s always special when something as beautiful as the “Road to Hana” was once such a necessary part of life. There was actually a time that the Hana Highway was imperative to sugar production and supply from Maui to the United States. Today, the Road to Hana is a spectacularly popular tourist attraction on the Island of Maui.
Some Road to Hana Specifics
52 miles long
History of the Road to Hana
In the 1800’s a man named George Wilfong came to Maui and opened the very first sugar cane mill and workable plantation on the Island. As sugar production increased, Wilfong employed many Chinese immigrants to fill the needs of working the land.
As the sugar industry flourished, King Kalakaua made a deal with the United States to export sugar from Maui to the US duty free. The sugar industry then boomed. It was clearly evident that the need for a dependable roadway from Hana (where the sugar was grown and harvested) to Kahului (where the sugar was stored and exported).
As a result, the town of Hana flourished in the 1930s and 1940s. At one point, the town had 3500 residents, 2 movie theatres, 3 barber shops, and lots of stores and shops for the sugar plantation workers and their families. Unfortunately, after World War II the sugar industry on Maui was never the same and by the late 1940’s there were almost no sugar plantations left on the Island.
The Road to Hana Gains National Acclaim
In the year 2000, US President Bill Clinton re-designated the Road to Hana as the “Hana Millennium Legacy Trail” as part of the Millennium Trails Initiative. That initiative is to compel Americans and visitors to remember the past as well as envision the future. It is part of a national pride movement within the US.
Why is the Road to Hana Such a Hawaii Holiday Attraction?
The Hana Highway is a magnificently scenic route that visitors can drive at a leisurely pace. The entire route is spattered with beautiful lookouts of ocean and cliffs, hidden beaches, and a plethora of Hawaiian treasures that are sure to be appreciated.
Visitors arrive in the thousands every year on their Hawaii holidays to drive the Road to Hana with their families and loved ones. The entire route and trek is truly breathtaking and it is photos and memories of the Road to Hana that many people still find themselves affectionately recalling years after their trip to Hawaii.