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Field Guide: Take a Hike!

Hiking is a great way to get out of the city and take in nature’s beauty. Here are five trails—each three miles or under—for the leisurely hiker.

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The view from the Pillbox Trail.

Photo: David Croxford

1. Kaiwa Ridge, commonly known as the Pillbox Trail

This moderately challenging hike offers 360-degree views of Lanikai, Popoia Island and the Mokulua islands.

How to get there: Drive north on Pali Highway until it crosses Kalanianaole Highway and becomes Kailua Road. Continue onto Kailua Road; turn right onto Kalaheo Avenue, crossing the bridge over the canal to Alāla Road. Turn right onto Kaelepulu Drive. The hike entrance is near the Pacific Country Club.

Distance: 1.3 miles round trip


Photo: Istock

Hiking time: 45 minutes

What makes it great: “The stunning views of Lanikai,” says Ralph Valentino, the public affairs chair of the Hawaiian Mountain and Trail Club.

 

2. Kuliouou Valley

Hikers will enjoy this easy, shaded trail, which runs along the Kuliouou stream.

How to get there: Drive on H-1 east until it becomes Kalanianaole Highway, then continue onto Kuliouou Road, turn left, and left again onto Kalaau Place; park in the cul-de-sac.

Distance: 1.4 miles round trip

Hiking time: 45 minutes

What makes it great: “This hike offers a really nice valley stroll,” says Stuart Ball, the author of three Hawaii hiking books. “It’s a great hike for a Sunday afternoon.”

 

3. Kealia Trail

This trail is a dry-forest hike filled with native plants.

 


Photo: istock

How to get there: Take Farrington Highway (Highway 930) through Waialua to Dillingham Airfield. Park near the airfield’s third gate, marked by a sign for the trailhead.

Distance: 6.2 miles, but, says Valentino, “You can go however long you want and it’s a great trail.”

Hiking time: three hours, if hiking the full distance

What makes it great: “There are a lot of switchbacks,” he says. “And a great view of Dillingham Airfield.”

 

 


Photo: David Croxford


 

4. Puu Pia Trail

Puu Pia is an 800-foot mountain surrounded by the Honolulu Watershed Forest Reserve.

How to get there: Drive mauka on East Manoa Road. Turn left onto Alani Drive and right onto Woodland Drive; park alongside the road near the trailhead. 

Distance: 1.8 miles round trip

Hiking time: 1 hour

What makes it great: “It’s a nice hike in Manoa Valley,” says Ball. 

 

 

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