East Oahu Hiking Trails

Best Hiking Trails on Oahu

Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Trail

This trail is also known as the Kaneohe Bay Pillbox trail and is considered easy enough for beginners. However, it might be better suited to those with a little more stamina as there are some steep inclines to contend with. It takes between one to two hours to complete the 2.2-mile journey and is pleasant to travel as it is not overly crowded.  It is about 40 minutes from Waikiki to the trailhead at 279 Kahekili Hwy. It is near enough Koolau Shopping Center across from the Valley of the Temples that you can park there and walk to the end of the guardrail along the highway to find the trailhead.

This is an excellent option as it is a shorter hike that gives you excellent views of the windward side of the island. It does take some effort and can be slippery with mud following rain. While much of the trail is through a forested area, you will get peeks at the views and come across some lookout points overlooking K-Bay. Your goal is to reach the pillbox to get the full expanse of the bay below. The pillbox is one of many small bunkers/lookouts built by the military in World War II. The pillboxes have the best views on the island.

You’ll also have a perfect view of the Ko'olau Mountain Range before the trail heads into the trees that take you to the pillbox. Any of the steep areas have a rope to hold onto. Watch for the sign called "Digging Hill," and you’ll just be a few minutes from the pillbox. Take your time to look at the stunning expanse of the windward coast where you’ll spot Chinaman's Hat, K-, Bay and its many sandbars. If you plan it right, you can also take in the colorful glow of early evening over the Ko'olau Mountains.

Victoria Derrick
Published on: 08-15-2020
Published by: Victoria C. Derrick
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Pu'u Ma'eli'eli Trail overlooking Kaneohe Bay

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