Iao Needle State Park is located three miles from the town of Wailuku at the end of Iao Valley Rd. (Hwy 32). Open from 7 am to 7 pm, this gorgeous park is a must see while you are on Maui. The park is named for the needle like peak that reaches 1200 feet above the valley floor. There is a well-marked, paved path that takes you from the parking lot to a viewpoint of the Iao Needle State Park. The lookout also provides incredible views of the valley. Since the needle is sometimes covered in clouds, early mornings are your best bet for good viewing. Other easy trails follow the tumbling streams, lush green botanical garden and rainforest. If you bring your swim suit, you might want to dive into crystal cool waters which run through Iao Needle State Park.
Close to Iao Needle State park is Kepaniwai Park’s Heritage Gardens which memorialize Maui’s multicultural history. Replicas of ethnic buildings and gardens representing immigration of Hawaiians, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, Filipino, and American missionaries are scattered in the park. Shelters are available for picnics.