Get Your Huff 'n' Puff On
Some hikes are easy, some hikes are hard. But which hikes do the locals go to when they want to get that cardio in? If you’re looking for exercise on Oahu, try these hikes out to work up a sweat.
Koko Head Crater Trail
Stairs, stairs and more stairs. That’s all you’ll see from the start of this trail. Biggest workout trail on Oahu and you’ll see trainers, exercise groups, firefighters and military groups running up and down this flight of stairs.
Not many people know about this trail to the Peacock Flats camping grounds, but it’s a tough one that will get your blood pumping for any marathon training.
Local Tip: There are bathrooms up here for those who are camping, but the cleanliness can be a hit or miss depending on when you come.
Kuliouou Ridge Trail
One of my most favorite ridge trails because the atmosphere and scenery is beautiful all the way up. The stairway before the top can be a killer, but the view on top is totally worth it and the perfect place to sit and rest.
There are three parts to this hike, the first third is easy with slight inclines, switchback trails and breezy winds.
The second part begins at the picnic bench where the going becomes a little more steep. You’ll find yourself breathing hard and looking out for the stray tree root.
Local Tip: Toward the end of this second part and right before the third, there will be a small bench big enough for 2 with a fantastic view of the mountains and valley. If you have weak knees or don’t feel like going up and down several stairs, this is a great stop to rest, snack and enjoy the view.
The final leg is up several stairs and most people will take their time here. It is the most difficult and even those with “normal” knees will find themselves a little wobbly when they come back down.
Manana Ridge Trail
Another favorite ridge trail that has spectacular views and ever-changing scenery. This is a nice trail that you can run through until you get tired. You get to choose how far you’ll go in (to the picnic bench or all the way to the ridge).
Local Tip: I often find (and smell) evidence that wild pigs hang out here, which is no surprise why hunters like to come here. Be careful where you step!
Extra Local Tip: The popular Waimano Falls and “Cardiac Hill” are also in Manana Trail. Cardiac Hill will be tough for those who aren’t in shape, but if you exercise regularly, you probably don’t have to worry.
Oahu now has sightrunning tours for those of you who find “sightseeing” a little too slow for your speed. Take the island views in while getting your exercise for the day done. You can even sign up for beer runs!