Hawaii is known for its beautiful, pristine beaches, but what you don’t necessarily picture about the Aloha State are our amazing nature preserves, state parks, and forest reserves. While we do not have state forests in Hawaii, we do have some incredible forest reserves. Check out these 12 amazing forests in Hawaii.

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This is by no means an exhaustive list of all forest reserves in Hawaii – the list would go on and on if that were the case! Did we miss your favorite forest in Hawaii? Or is your favorite on this list?

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You’ll Be Blown Away By These 12 Amazing Forest Reserves In Hawaii

Which Hawaiian Island is the most forested? 

Oahu has more forested areas than any other island in Hawaii. In fact, it is estimated that over 130,000 acres of forest cover the island. 

What types of forests are found in Hawaii?

Hawaii’s forests are diverse and unique. There are many native species found nowhere else in the world. Forests in Hawaii are generally referred to as tropical rainforests. 

Coastal mesic forests are on the slopes up to 300 meters high that face the ocean. Here is where you will leafy plants, ferns, and flowering trees and bushes. You will see plenty of hibiscuses. 

A bit higher up the slopes, you will see mixed mesic forests. These are a bit more open, but with a canopy of trees. They do not always receive enough rainfall to be considered true rainforests. 

Wet forests are filled with lush plant life. These receive more than 400 inches of water a year! The leaves on trees and shrubs are broad and dynamic. There are birds and animals all over Hawaii, but here you will really see some action.

Bogs are forest areas that receive excess rainfall and little drainage. Here you will see shrubs and grasses primarily. Plenty of rare and beautiful plants and birds are everywhere you look here.

Hawaiian tropical dry forests are on the side of the mountains facing away from the wind. They receive much less rain. These are pretty small areas and contain broad leaf plants that need less water.

Are there national forests in Hawaii?

Hawaii does not have a national forest. Yet, congressional bills introduced over the years have addressed such protection. Hawaii does have a public-private partnership called the Forest Reserve System. This partnership works to safeguard and preserve these important ecosystems. As a result, Hawaii’s forests are protected for residents and visitors alike.