This week I found time to explore the Makaki Forest Recreation Area, located a short drive away from busy downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
Makiki Forest Recreation Area is the location of three trail heads: Maunalaha Trail, Kanealoe Trail, and Makiki Loop Trail. Today, we hiked Kanealoe. There is plenty of free parking in the adjacent parking lot at the base of the trail, or the overflow in front of the sign.
We started with the mini hike near the parking lot, a very short trail ideal for children and novice hikers.
Along the gravel paved trail there is plenty of beautiful native vegetation and exotic birds chirping away as you make your way through the peaceful hike. This hike provides a great non- strenuous way to enjoy nature and relax.
About a quarter of the way through the trail, my daughter and I came across a family size swing made from bamboo cut from the surrounding bamboo forest.
This trail provides plenty of benches to take a rest if the wee ones get tired or the grown-ups need a rest.
I found this Hawaiian pepper on the ground near a pepper tree near the end of the hike. After we finished with this hike, we moved on to the Kanealoe Trail near the Hawaii Nature Center.
After we crossed the bridge with the Kanealoe Stream we took in the calming sounds of birds chirping, the lull of the stream under our feet, and the scent of wild eucalyptus.
Here is a short clip of the beginning of the hike so you can get an idea of the surroundings.
The terrain was semi- muddy due to the rains we have been having on the islands. Rocks and boards are there to assist with footing. Sorry Moms and Dads, you can't bring your strollers on this hike, but check out the recommended gear tab for ideas for great hiking carriers for small children.
The trail has plenty of diverse plant and wildlife to see. We came across this vine canopy that provided us with some cool shade while we took a rest.
Inside the massive canopy.
My daughter came across this sign describing the feral pigs that can sometimes be seen taking drink of water near the stream just off the trail. Apparently, wild pigs have become quite a nuisance to the native Hawaiian Plants and the local government authorizes periods of hunting to keep the population under control.
We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the pigs, but no such luck today.
The peak of the trail ends at the top of the Makiki Loop. We decided to turn around and head back towards the entrance of the park. We were treated with a partial view of downtown Honolulu and the Pacific Ocean.
At the end of the hike there is a station to clean your hiking shoes before jumping back into your car.
Makaki Forest Recreation Area offers plenty of diverse hikes for the family to explore. Take a break from the traffic and hustle of Honolulu to get back in touch with nature. I recommend waiting for a few days with no rain to ensure the trail isn't muddy. Also come prepared with some mosquito propellent and water for the Keikis.
Check out the Nature Center for inexpensive and informative family tours of the trails.
The address for Makaki Forest Recreation Area is :
2131 Makiki Heights Dr
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822