Aiea Loop Trail

By Sheila Garcia and Craig Shoda

Have you ever experienced a quiet cool non-strenuous walk in the mountains? One can enjoy this experience hiking at the Aiea Loop trail, also known as the Keaiwa Heiau State Park.

Located high in the heights of Aiea, this park and trail are easy to find. Getting to the trail from Honolulu, head west on the H1 freeway. Stay in the right hand lane and take the Aiea cutoff. Be sure to stay in the right lane; this lane will turn right taking you on Aiea Heights Drive. Head up Aiea Heights Drive passing the bowling alley and gas station on the right and Aiea high school on the left. Follow Aiea Heights Drive uphill until you hit entrance to Keaiwa Heiau State Park. Follow the one-way winding road passing several bathrooms, parking lots, and camping areas, until you reach the highest point. In a visible distance, you can see a sign "Aiea Loop Trail-4 1/2 miles." The driving distance is about 4 1/2 to 5 miles from downtown Honolulu.

At the beginning of the trail, walk under mahogany trees and on tree roots, that lead you to a fenced-in water tank. After passing the water tank, there is a dip in the trail. Continuing along the trail, you walk through strawberry guava and plants that hit you in your face. The quietness allows you to hears the rustling of leaves and the crackling of the trees. The crackling of the trees makes you think that the tree is ready to fall. You can also hear the chirping of the birds.

Towards the middle of the trail, you go through several muddy areas, feeling the squishing of your feet. If you look carefully, you will find the turnoff for the Aiea Bisectional Trail. In certain areas of the trail, the path is so narrow, one wrong step and you can end up off of the ridge. Three quarters into the trail, there was a tree that fell that forced you to go around of it. The one thing that was significant about the trail was the cool brisky wind. At some points of the trail, the wind was very strong. The ending part of the trail for us was when we reached the high point called Puu Uau. At this point we were able to see the H3 freeway that is under construction.

If you are planning to hike this trail, be sure that you wear comfortable clothing, tennis shoes or hiking shoes, and a thermos of water might be a good idea. Towards the middle of the trail, you might get thirsty. Be prepared to go through mud puddles. It might be best if you wear clothing that you don't mind getting dirty. Overall, it was a fairly nice hike. The trail was not strenuous at all. Actually, it is a good trail to hike if you want to enjoy a good workout.


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