The following is a list of hikes, suitable for those with minimal hiking experience and/or those with children. Members of OHE contributed this info.
Aiea Loop Trail... in the Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area which is a 5 mile easy hike/walk, novice material... however, it is a very pretty hike...giving you views of mountains and the harbor. The elevation gain is minimal and the trail itself is very well maintained...just a bit muddy in spots...but this could get worse depending on rainfall it is in Aiea Heights at the end of the road; trailhead is in a very nice park, Total time was 2-1/2 hours. Backyard Oahu: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~gkingsle .
Byodo-In Temple. While you're on the Windward Side, you may want to stop by Byodo-In Temple. It's very beautiful and a great bargain. It's FREE. Of course, you can't go there without ringing the bell (recommend small donation to receive big blessing) and feeding the fish ($1 buys a huge bag of fish food and plenty of laughs).
Dept Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Visitor Center and One-Stop Permit Shop, located at 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 130 (building is on the corner of Punchbowl and Beretania Streets across from the State Capitol, parking in the basement below). Hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free topographical maps of day hikes in the mountains of Oahu are available. The maps tell how long the trails are, how to get there, describe the route, and offer other information such as whether an access permit is required, trail hours, etc. A number of these trails are suited for families, and you can ask for more information when you come, at Room 325, Division of Forestry and Wildlife. You can also pick up our brochure Hiking on Oahu which offers tips for safe hiking. Also pick up the brochure about Hawaii's State Parks. Eight of our state parks offer hikes of over one mile.
Diamond Head State Monument is best taken early in the morning. Bring water, hat, flashlight and sunscreen. It gets crowded and hot in mid-day. But the view of the Waikiki coastaline is worth the short, steep hike.
House Without a Key at the Halekulani Hotel, Best place to get a drink and watch the sunset in Waikiki
Information at HVCB Visitor Information Office--Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center Suite 401A (4th floor) 2201 Kalakaua Ave. Honolulu, HI 96815 PH#923-1811 If you want more information, you can e-mail Karen Cinnamon at firstname.lastname@example.org. she can give you trail head directions, etc. If you've never been to Hawaii before, she can give you some other "must see or do" ideas as well.
Kaena Point...very flat, along the ocean out to the Point...a very special place. Total time ~ 3 hours.
Kualoa Valley Take a drive up Kam Hwy from the Windward Side (Maunawili Falls side) all the way up to the North Shore. This is Oahu, my friends, just like in the movies! Once you get out of Kaneohe, you'll be in a beautiful tropical paradise. Past Kualoa Ranch is Kualoa Valley - that's where they filmed scenes for Jurassic Park and George of the Jungle (to name a couple). Anyway, get out your Fodor's (actually I like "Hidden Hawaii") and enjoy the sights on this drive. It will take you the better part of an afternoon to get up to Haleiwa and back to town via H2 & H1, but it's a great drive, full of beauty and history. Kam Hwy hugs the shoreline most of the way up the coast. Bluest water you've ever seen.
Makapuu Lighthouse --- Makapuu lighthouse is basically a walk on a road that is closed to vehicular traffic. While there will be no waterfall at the end, you'll be treated to fine views of the ocean and surrounding area. Plus, this involves a simple walk up a road to a lighthouse. It's quite a nice hike that many people do. The start point of this hike is on the east side of the island out past Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach. Again, ask a local when you get here and they can give you specific instructions. I like Makapuu Point, too, but no waterfall. Makapuu Point is best for whale watching in Jan and Feb.
Makiki Loop Trail starts and ends near DLNR's forestry division baseyard and is an enjoyable forest experience with beautiful views of the city of Honolulu below.
Manoa Falls. Located up in Manoa Valley, which is quite near metro Honolulu, Waikiki, etc. Most locals will be able to provide directions to the trailhead. It's at the end of Manoa Road by a place called the Lyon Arboretum, which is listed in the phone directory. great hike, short and very doable for novices with a waterfall at the end. Manoa Falls trail is an especially popular trail with families, and leads to a waterfall at the back of the valley.
Maunawili Falls from the valley end. fairly short and very scenic This trail has easy access, varied and interesting topography, and just enough incline in places to make you feel like you've earned the enchanting payoff (waterfall).Drive ewa (that's west or towards the airport) on Ala Moana Blvd. Turn Left on Alekea St. Stay in the second lane from the left curb. This lane will turn off to the left and shoot you out onto the Pali Hwy. Stay on the Pali all the way through the tunnels. (You'll see waterfalls off to your right before you go through the tunnels). After the tunnels you'll pass the first light ( Kam Hwy and Auloa Rd.). Turn right at the second light (Auloa Rd.). Bear left and up as the road forks (Maunawili Loop). Follow this road all the way to the back of the subdivision. It twists and turns and you won't see house for awhile, then there will be more houses. Turn Right on the last street in the subdivision. ( I think it may be Kelewina but don't quote me on that.) At the end of this street the trail begins off to the left. Park on the street off to the right. As for the trail itself, it is well marked and well defined. I think round trip is about 3 miles. I can think of only one junction which might be questionable, but I think a sign has been posted now. If not, and you come to a questionable junction, remember to bear left and down. If you continue straight and up, you'll end up on a ridge headed for the pali. Left and down takes you to a stream. At the end is a waterfall (I'm guessing it's at least a 30 foot fall). the swimming hole is large and deep, great for swimming. If there are any locals there, you may even get to enjoy a heart stopping cliff diving show. Old Pali Road (which starts with the awesome view from the Pali Lookout). fairly short and very scenic
Senator Fong's Garden Again on the Windward Side, Senator Fong's Garden. I don't know what they charge the tourists now, but it's worth it. take the little tram tour^Å.. Go on a weekday. The girl that drives the tram is the best. She's very knowledgeable, very local and full of the aloha spirit. If you want to learn about the flora of Hawaii, this is the place to go. She will even pluck samples of exotic fruits and flowers for you right from the trees!
Stuart Ball has great references for hikes on the island. You can get info from his page: http://www.hgea.org/~lmasu/ Oahu Trails by Kathy Morey. Much more of a layman's book. Both are great resources.
Waahila State Park Right behind the law school in Honolulu, there is a nice walk . From law school, walk on Dole east, cross to the north side of the street, right after the road crosses a (Manoa) stream, there is a well-defined path. Follow it for an hour and you get to a nice state park. The trail goes on to the top of the Koolau, but that takes another 2 hours. You can return the same way, or pick a fork left that goes through a big watertank and then out 100 yards east of where you started, still on Dole Street.
Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area (known locally as Sherwood Forest). It's a beautiful, huge beach. The surf is perfect for swimming, boogey boarding, body surfing.... There are some shade trees if the sun's too bright. And look off to your right - there's the Makapuu lighthouse at Makapuu Point. If it's a clear day, you can see the mound of Molokai in the distance between Rabbit Island and Turtle Rock.