Hau’ula Loop Trail (Wooded, Waterfall, Northshore)
This trail was a lot different from all of the others we hiked in Oahu. It was very wooded with habitats that reminded us of home. We only encountered one other group while hiking which was nice for a change, probably because it’s location is somewhat off the beaten path (the preserve is located in Hauula, the intersection between Kamehameha Hwy and Hau’ula Homestead Road [turn onto homestead road] right across from Hau’ula Beach after about .3 miles you will see a brown sign). There is a sign near the trailhead that says this is a ‘high theft’ area, but once again like anywhere just be smart and don’t leave important things in your car, especially visible. Make sure you are aware of parking signs so you don’t get ticketed or towed. We didn’t feel uncomfortable in the neighborhood at all, and actually enjoyed some light conversation with an older man outside of his house where we parked. There is a sign marking the trail which is visible, however it may be a bit confusing for you to find the actually trail as it as it was for us. Luckily the man we were talking to directed us up, just keep walking past the sign and you will see a gate. There are houses surrounding the area, but walk past the gate and then there is an obvious trail where to go. The loop is 2.5 miles and there are lots of interesting sights to see and it is very well maintained. We went on a pretty rainy day it was very muddy and slightly slippery, but we had fun regardless. The dewy pine like trees were beautiful and smelt like home. There is some slight elevation gain and at the highest point there are some nice views of the mountain ridges and for a short time the ocean. The flora is really unique and interesting here. One plant in particular gave us a bit of a chuckle because it looked like the candy on the strips of paper ‘Dots.’ We picked this trail because it was on the way to the northshore, it was the perfect length for our time constraints, it was a loop which I prefer if possible, and there was a little waterfall! Definitely not a huge waterfall, but a gorgeous and happily flowing muddy waterfall nonetheless. The varying terrain and sights kept us interested the whole way through and we were happy to have solitude within nature. This is a great stop along the way to the northshore.