Ninole on the Hamakua Coast, not to be confused with Ninole in Kau District, has the smallest U.S. Post office. The post office is a hot attraction, so letʻs bike another segment of Hawaii that ends with this tiny distraction.
After getting your fill of splendor on the Hakalau Bridge, head back onto Old Mamalahoa Hwy for a really sweet section of the route. Bicyclists drive to be able to ride this lovely, comfortable 4 mile segment. Old Mamalahoa Hwy wends through more gulches, providing ample time to breathe in the earthly dampness and wonder at the encompassing tropical growth. Have fun sending chickens scurrying and peeking into nice little neighborhoods. While the whole section is beautiful, the most dramatic is the Umauma bridge crossing. The riverbed opens up into one of the widest and most accessible waterfronts, with waterfalls and exposed rock beds. On clear days, you can see all the way from stream crossing to the ocean. Near the end of our route, you’ll find another wooden bridge crossing, just past Ninole Park.
I promised you the smallest post office in the U.S. Once you get to the end of Old Mamalahoa Hwy, the cutest little post office is just a bit up the highway. Take the extra detour if you’re so inclined, heading North on Route 19 about a quarter mile until you get your photo op! The little darling is special to me because, when I moved to Hawaii, my 7 boxes of things landed in this very post office! Our wonderful postmaster called me on open days to ensure it got picked up timely (and didn’t clog up the very limited space).
From there, we’ll head back to Hilo. You can opt to retrace your route, or if youʻre tired or pressed for time, ride the highway. While it’s not the most pleasant riding conditions, there is a shoulder for most of the way. The route is shorter and has less climbing. Take parts or the whole and head on back to Hilo.