HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tired of doing the same hikes while living or visiting Oahu? Here is a list of four underrated hikes for the whole family to enjoy.
Diamond Head, Pillbox, and Koko Head Crater are good hikes but may get overcrowded during the summer months.
Here’s a list of hikes you should check out:
Aiea Loop Trial
The ‘Aiea Loop Trail is a 4.8-mile trail that runs along the ridge on the west side of Halawa Valley and offers views of the southern coastline of Oahu from Pearl Harbor and the Waianae Range to Honolulu and Diamond Head.
According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources the area was replanted by foresters in the late 1920s.
This hike is not strenuous but involves some gradual uphill climbs with a steep switchback and a stream crossing at the end of the trail.
The trail may be muddy with sections of exposed tree roots. They recommend giving yourself about 2.5 to 3 hours for the hike and enjoy the plants and the sound of birds around you.
Nakoa Trail is a 2.5-mile loop through the rainforest of Kahana Valley. This trail is named after the native koa tree, the trail takes you through a mixed forest of native plants such as koa, hala and ferns, as well as exotic species such as ink berry, guava and octopus trees.
Kahana is the wettest place on O‘ahu which accounts for the vegetation and clear flowing streams found along this trail.
The military used Kahana as a jungle training site during World War II and you may notice the bunkers and crushed coral roads remaining from this time.
Wa‘ahila Ridge Trail
The trail begins at the back of Wa‘ahila Ridge State Recreation Area within ironwood and guava trees. This trail is a mix of open ridge and forest as it gradually ascends the ridge between Manoa and Palolo Valleys.
It offers views of Manoa Valley, Palolo Valley, Honolulu and the Ko‘olau Range. Native Hawaiian plants are common along the upper portions of this trail, including koa and ‘ohia lehua.
This trail can also be a good place to observe the native birds amakihi and apapane. Do not go up to the summit beyond the Kolowalu/Wa‘ahila junction – it is a Restricted Watershed Area.
You may continue down Kolowalu Trail, which descends steeply down into the back of Manoa Valley.
This trail begins in Pu‘u ‘Ualaka‘a State Wayside. It is a short loop through thick forest canopy. At the uphill end of the trail, you come to a 4-way intersection with Makiki Valley, Moleka and Maunalaha Trails.
Because this trail is on the shorter side it is good for families and dogs. Dogs must be kept on a leash.
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For more information on these trails head to Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resource’s website.