Aiea Loop Trail in Keaiwa Heiau State Park

Day 6

Destination: Aiea is a suburb of Honolulu in the hills above Pearl Harbor. Home to Hawaii’s largest enclosed mall (and its ONLY monorail!), it’s also where Aloha Stadium is. That’s where the UH Warriors play and the NFL holds the Pro Bowl. The Keaiwa Heiau is an ancient medicine shrine. Today I’m hiking the loop trail within the state park.

Focus: Hiking, Nature

Soundtrack for the drive: Energy and mood are high today. I’ve got the dance mix shuffling on my iPod.

Quote of the Day: You can lead a herring to water but you have to walk really fast or he’ll die ~ Rose Nylund, The Golden Girls

Holy sweet bajeezus of mercy and love I think I just stumbled upon my most favoritest trail on the island! I can’t be sure because I’m still in the car but so far this place is awesome! It has camping just like home – outhouses and fire pits, tall pine trees that make that squeaky wood sound when they sway in the breeze. We’re parking at the very top of Aiea Heights and making our way into Keaiwa Heiau State Park.

On the trail the sweet scent of eucalyptus is immediately penetrating my nostrils. It’s so pungent I can almost taste it. The trees here are an excellent mix of familiar and tropical.

An hour in we’re hiking above the H-3, a highway that links Aiea to the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe. It’s the road we took to get here. I love driving it, especially after a heavy rain. It’s nearly impossible to count all the waterfalls and the highway is built like a bridge so you almost feel like you’re floating through the mountains. I would say it’s one of the most beautiful highways in America. I also love it because people drive hella fast on it.

An hour and a half in the dogs are happily trotting off leash. The guidebook mentions the remains of a B-24J four-engine Liberator bomber that crashed after taking off from Hickam Field in 1944 that can be seen on the side of the gully, but I’m unable to locate it. I love this trail so much I’d like it to become my go-to hike, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more opportunities to find the wreckage.

I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe this trail just reminds me of Forest Park in Portland where I used to go before work with the dogs. It’s enough to make me want to move to Aiea, which is saying a lot because there’s not much going for this ‘burb besides Bed, Bath & Beyond and a Target. The only thing missing trail-wise is a stream with big rocks to stop and eat lunch on.

All told it takes two hours and ten minutes to hike the 4.8 mile loop. With practice I’m sure we can get that down to one forty five. If you like hiking and don’t mind getting muddy, I’ll take you here when you come visit. Maybe we can pitch a tent and camp out too!

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