I hit the trails today and checked out the extensive trail system mauka (mountain) of Honolulu.
I am so glad I did because this is a great grouping of trails close to my work and really easy to get to. You just need to take Makiki Street, stay to the right where it splits, and take curvy Round Top Drive to Ualakaa State Park.
I started off on the Ualakaa trail at the State Park, where there are bathrooms and a scenic overlook of the city. There is Honolulu in all of its developed and crowded glory. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining because there is beautiful forest a mere 10 minutes drive from that madness.
I turned left onto the Makiki Valley Trail.
Makiki Valley trail linked up with the Nahuina trail, which was STEEP, I had to hike at least half of it! Then Nahuina trail ends at Tantalus Drive and you have to cross the road to pick up the Kaluwahine trail.
It was so nice up on these trails! I started the run at 1:00 p.m. which is a blazing hot time of the day, but it was so comfortable in the mountains because a) you are at a much higher elevation and b) it is totally shaded on all of the trails. The trees were nice enough to provide me with some shade, but their extensive root systems kept trying to trip me and twist my ankle.
Luckily I have somehow developed superhuman ankle strength and anytime my foot rolled, my ankle corrected itself immediately. I am not sure how this is possible seeing how I broke my foot 3 times as a kid by rolling my ankle in sports. I was able to continue on my happy forest ramble and linked up to the Manoa Cliffs trail.
From there it was a pretty steady downhill back to Ualakaa State Park, through bamboo and past beautiful heliconias.
It was a lovely run and I am glad I explored this area because I plan to run here a lot more often. If you run this loop, bring water. I went through 1.5 liters of water before I was finished and felt thirsty at the end. There are bathrooms and water at Ualakaa State Park. It took me almost 2 hours to do the 7 mile loop today, I guess trail running is a hell of a lot slower than road running. Nonetheless I enjoyed myself, challenged myself, and took in some great views.