Molokai, Hawaii - The most hawaiian island
Molokai, Hawaii - Molokai Ranch

In 1897, a group of prominent businessmen formed what is now Molokai Ranch, Ltd. They purchased 70,000 acres of land, mostly on the western half of Molokai, leased another 30,000 acres of government land and began raising cattle and other livestock. Today Molokai Ranch encompasses about 53,000 acres which is roughly one third of the island.

From the beginning, the rich paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) heritage has been an integral part of the ranch. This is a working cattle ranch with real life cowboys doing real life cowboy chores on a daily basis.

For the past 100 years, the ranch has played a major role in the evolution of the island's agriculture-based economy and in the development of the necessary water resources.

Photo - Cattle drive
Photo - Shoeing his horse
In the early days the focus was on raising beef cattle for market, plus horses and mules for use here and for sales elsewhere. Over time, other ventures were tried with varying degrees of success. Some of these included raising sheep for market, honey production, a small dairy, and various grains and row crops.

Between 1923 and 1985 several thousand acres were leased to Libby and to Del Monte for pineapple cultivation. During those years, pineapple was an economic mainstay for Molokai.

More recently, activities have been introduced that allow Molokai visitors the opportunity to experience authentic ranch life first-hand.

If you'd like to spend a night or two, you can camp in style and comfort at one of their new wilderness camps and optionally participate in some terrific horseback activities.

There's the Paniolo Roundup, where ranch cowboys patiently teach even the greenest tenderfoot horsemanship and rodeo skills.

Or venture out with the paniolos along the Great Molokai Ranch Trail.
Photo - Trail riders overlooking Kalaupapa
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