Kailua residents growing concerned over Maunawili Falls trail, want access area closed

Local News

There was a constant flow of people coming in and out of an entrance to the Maunawili Falls trail on Sunday.

It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists. Kailua resident John Lawler said it’s a fun hike to do. “It does bring a lot of people down here through this nice neighborhood,” he said.

The Kailua Neighborhood Board, however, is asking the City and County of Honolulu to close the estates access trail to the falls and it wants to work with the state to get funding for a new trail.

“I don’t know what other options there would be to get on to the trail,” Lawler said, “so it would kind of be more of a hassle for me to go about getting onto the trail.”

Neighbors say they don’t have a problem with people hiking the trail, but they do have a problem with people who are disrespecting their property.

Longtime resident Claire Ganiko said “I have had people come up at 8 o’clock at night asking me to rent or borrow a flashlight, because their friends called them on the cellphone, saying they were back on the trail lost in the dark. I have people come and ask me for wire hangers because they locked themselves out of their car.”

Residents say vandalism is a big issue and so is trash. KHON2 saw several muddy shoes left behind at the entrance of the trail.

Neighborhood board chairman Chuck Prentiss said “we had a number of residents come to the neighborhood board and bring up the issue and point out to us how long it’s been going on. The board realized that no one was doing anything and it’s way overdue that something should be done.”

“Unfortunately, when you have areas that are popular like this, you are going to have the tourists that are not as respectful as the others,” said hiker Phil Durando. “On the same token, you are going to have a lot of folks that are respectful that come through the area and use it appropriately.”

City Council member Ikaika Anderson said Sunday this is the first time he is hearing about the neighborhood board’s request.

The next Kailua Neighborhood Board meeting will be held September 3.

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