The Kaiwa Ridge or “Lanikai Pillbox” hike reopened on Monday, Aug. 20, after a 60-day closure to rehabilitate the two observation stations, commonly called pillboxes.

Work consisted of concrete spall repair and replacement of rusted steel roof supports. New steel flange roof supports were installed, and roof sealant was applied to the WWII-era, observation structures. 

These repairs will protect the structures from further weathering.

“I was kind of bummed about it at beginning of summer, because I had been planning on going previously, but I was happy when they opened it back up, because it had been awhile,” said hiker Madelynn Myers.

Known for its scenic vistas and iconic structures, the trail has garnered much attention from social media and online outlets. Its increasing popularity as a bucket list destination for local residents and island visitors is sometimes viewed as a “loved-to-death” hike.

To address concerns of trail capacity, visitor safety and comfort, and resident consideration, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife, with the planning consultant firm PBR, is developing a master plan for the Kaiwa Ridge trail. 

After holding a public meeting and conducting an online survey during rehabilitation, PBR compiled the thoughts and concerns of Kaiwa Ridge users and local residents.

Future work regarding the trail includes debris removal by helicopter from the trail’s end in September, which will require a one-day closure, and further surveying of the trail alignment.

A strategy for graffiti removal at the observation stations is also under development.

View survey findings and updates on the master plan here.