By Lori Okami
My goodness! There is much more to hiking in the Nuuanu area than my first visit revealed! Last week I shared my experience on two short trails in the lower Nuuanu area. We discovered another trail (the Nuuanu Trail) which was fantastic!
Start at the same location as the Judd Trail (before the bridge). Immediately after you cross the first stream, you will see a two-sided arrow sign and it will appear to have three paths to offer (left, straight or right). Left will take you along the stream to a small private pond. Right, you will find yourself along the lower end of the same stream, which ultimately ends at an even bigger pool. For the Nuuanu Trail, go straight ahead.
Stay on the path and you will come to a single-sided arrow just over the hill. Here’s the trickly part. Although the arrow will direct you to the right (down to the pond), the “real” hike is to the left. Follow the path through the tall columns of pine trees. The ground is covered with pine cone petals (there’s probably another name for those) beautifully blanketing the ground. It was so cool!
Continue through the grove and you’ll reach another crossroad where you may head downward to continue on the Judd Trail, or head uphill on the Nuuanu Trail—all clearly labeled.
Then, you will be lead up a winding path, zigzaging skyward (like driving up Wilhelmina Rise). There will be signs along the way to remind you not to short-cut the hike and contribute to further erosion, so stay on the path!
There are many intriguing things to see along the way, including evidence that you are on a ‘manicured’ hike—like the downed tree across the path which was cut into steps. This will likely be the coolest hike you’ll enjoy on any morning since three-quarters of it is shaded by the mountain and trees. I loved it!
As you approach the crest, you’ll finally see daylight. Notice the foliage and terrain changes along the way. In one section, you’ll feel like a surfer in a tube of fern peeling overhead. Very cool!
Eventually, you will reach “Pauoa Flats” which is a grassy plateau with a bench.
We only went a tad bit further because ‘someone’ (meaning I) forgot to bring water. We turned around right after catching a glimpse of the southern coastline from town to Sand Island.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this hike—though not necessarily for a killer workout. Rather, it is easy enough to bring the kids, it is very cool, and best of all there were all sorts of grand sites to see. Loved it!
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