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FAQs

Is there a trail map?

Yes! Our trail map is available for download wherever you see the map icon.

Please click on it to download a free copy now!travel-map2

Are there prohibited activities?

Yes. Removal of plants or plant parts is prohibited. Parking is for Arboretum visitors and guests only. No parking for Mānoa Falls Trails. Destruction, disturbance, or pollution of the watershed is prohibited. Introduction of outside plants, terrestrial or aquatic animals, insects, or birds is prohibited. Pets are prohibited.

Are there any safety guidelines?

Yes. All visitors must sign in at the Visitors’ Center. Wear appropriate footwear with good traction. Trails may be narrow, slippery, and uneven. Insect repellant is recommended. Avoid entering streams or ponds, especially if you have open cuts or wounds. Leptospirosis and other harmful bacteria may be present in the water or soil. Do not drink stream water, or eat plants or plant parts. Beware of falling branches, especially in windy weather. Please exercise caution throughout your visit.

What is an “arboretum”?

The word “arboretum” is derived from the Latin “arbor” – tree. An Arboretum is thus a Botanical Garden specializing in woody plants.

We hear chainsaws and see fallen trees. Why are trees being removed?

The Arboretum cares for the forest by removing declining, dead, or fallen trees as part of its responsibility of tending to this living museum. Tree removals are also necessary to get rid of weedy trees which compete with more desirable trees in our garden. Trees may also be removed if they are a hazard.

Are those pine trees that we see around the Arboretum and all over Mānoa Valley?

No, they are not Pines, they are Araucarias. The Araucarias belong to a different plant family (the “Araucariaceae”). This family is only found in the Southern Hemisphere, wheras the Pine Family (“Pinaceae”) is restricted to the Northern Hemisphere. The most common Araucarias in Mānoa valley are the Cook “Pines” (Araucaria columnaris) often mistaken for the Norfolk Island “Pine” (Araucaria heterophylla).

Do you sell plants here?

Yes, plants are for sale at the Visitor Center and by special order by contacting our Horticultural Staff. Please contact Liz Huppman for more information. Also, the Lyon Arboretum has two annual plant sales. Please check our calendar for annual plant sale information.

Do you rent out the other cottages?

No they aren’t available to the public. However, In the future one cottage will be available as living space for visiting researchers or students.

How do we get to the waterfall?

‘Aihualama Falls on the Arboretum grounds can be reached by hiking from our parking lot to the end of Lyon Arboretum Road (formerly a service road but now a pedestrian trail). The road connects to a footpath on the left, which leads to ‘Aihualama Falls. The total walk is about 1.5 miles (round trip). To get to nearby Manoa Falls, which is part of the State of Hawaii’s trails System, and not part of the Lyon Arboretum, we recommend going back out to our main gate and walking the trail from there. The trailhead to Manoa Falls begins just before you enter the Arboretum grounds. The walk to the falls and back is 1.6 miles.

How long does it take to walk through the Arboretum?

Lyon Arboretum has many trails and some people spend half the day exploring. A leisurely hike up the “Ti Walk”, which goes up to the Bromeliad Garden and Inspiration Point and back to the parking lot, takes almost 1 hour (round trip).

Is there a bird checklist?

Yes, a checklist may be obtained from the Visitor’s Center/Book and Gift Shop. The most common birds are Cockatoos, Mynas, White-rumped Shama thrushes, Mejiro (Japanese white-eye), Common waxbills, Northern cardinals, Brazilian cardinals, bulbuls, doves, house finches and sparrows. The most-often seen (or heard) endemic Hawaiian bird in the Arboretum is the Oahu ‘amakihi.