Maunawili Demonstration Trail

Maunawili Demonstration Trail

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I've done Maunawili trail several times but have not journeyed over the complete 12 mile length of this easy foothill hike. As I mentioned in the write-up about the Nuuanu Pali hike, Maunawili begins at the small parking lot at the hairpin turn on the Kailua side of the Pali Highway. If the weather is nice and it's a Saturday or Sunday, expect the parking lot and trail to be crowded.

The trail, blazed by Oahu hiking guru Richard "Dick" Davis, contours along the base of the Koolaus and is relatively flat as Oahu trails go. It is so much so, in fact, I've jogged a large portion of the wide, well-marked trail. Maunawili, a favorite of mountain bikers, takes hikers through a series of serene ravines in the back of a gaping valley and ends up in Waimanalo. Mauka are the majestic vertical Koolau cliffs. If it has rained recently, waterfalls cascade down into sharply-cut notches in the mountainside.

If you hike Maunawili, one possibility is to hike to Waimanalo and catch the city bus back to the bus stop near the Pali Golf Course and hike up the half mile up the highway to the starting point. Or you could arrange to be picked up at the other end. Or if you're a hearty sort and get a relatively early start, you can retrace your 12-mile path to the hairpin turn trailhead.

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