Located in Kane'ohe, the Friendship Garden is known for its one kilometer (0.6 miles) of non-strenuous hiking trails that take visitors through groves of macadamia, banyan, mahogany, strawberry guava and eucalyptus trees in a peaceful setting.
Friendship Garden is part of what began in the 1920s as Hawai'i's first multi-racial community, called Kokokahi ("of one blood"), a place where people of all ethnic backgrounds would come together to live, work and play. It was the inspiration of the Rev. Theodore Richards, who together with his wife, Mary Atherton, acquired the land and built the community. source.
The garden is free and ideal for for family and small group hikes. A hiking carrier like the ones mentioned on the recommended gear tab at the top of the page is highly recommended if hiking with small children.
lava stone platform steps lead to the trail loop above.
One of the first sites my daughter and I came upon was a wild Macadamia Nut Tree.
A close up of the Macadamias in their raw form.
Further up the trail we came across a bamboo forest. The variety of plants, flowers, and trees will keep the family entertained on the way up to the summit of the hike.
Through the bamboo forest we were treated to a sneak peak of a view of Kaneohe Bay.
This banyan tree was so huge, I was unable to get the whole tree in the photo.
After about 5 minutes into the hike, we came upon a fork in the trail marked by a sign that read: "Loop Trail"
We chose the path to the left and pressed onward to see what lay ahead.
Eventually we made it to an un-manicured trail that led to an incredible view of Kaneohe Bay.
On the way back down it was little steep, therefore I highly recommend shoes appropriate for hiking and a carrier for small children. This is a short hike and a great way to get immersed in nature to help clear the mind.
Address for GPS:
Kaneohe, HI 96744
Directions: from Honolulu take H3 or Likelike Hwy until you get to Kaneohe Bay Drive. Follow Kaneohe Bay Drive until you get to Kokokani Place St. Take KokoKani Place St. through a narrow residential neighborhood until you see the entrance to Friendship Gardens. Parking is limited alongside of the entrance.