This path is a pleasant and scenic stroll in Kailua, that passes through Kawanui Marsh and features incredible views of the Ko'olau Mountain Range. It's a perfect place to run, walk your dog, or simply be outside and enjoy the wonders of the Windward side without all the effort of hiking.
After almost a week of working on the night shift, I was in much need of some Vitamin D. I wasn't feeling up to anything strenuous given the way my body felt from the shift work. I settled on walking through Kawanui Marsh, one of my favorite running routes. I figured the sunshine coupled with the mountain views would have a positive effect on my mood. It certainly did.
The path begins at Kawai Nui Park at the end of Kaha Street.
Here's a glimpse from the park of the views to come. There used to be a bunch of trees just beyond the fence, but it has since been cleared out. You don't even need to venture to the path to see the views.
But of course, we will be venturing there. When facing the mountains, head right to get to the path. This little area precedes the trail. They've been building this up over the past few months. I believe it is going to be some sort of nature garden.
And the walk through the marsh begins! It's roughly a 2.75 mile round trip to the end of the trail, but man is it beautiful! There is no shade though, so bring sunscreen or go in early morning/late evening.
You have two choices for where to walk, the paved sidewalk next to the wall, or the dirt path to the right. Luckily, it is plenty wide, which is good because you do see a lot of runners, bikers, and dogs on this trail. And why wouldn't you, look at this view!
My first shot looking towards the middle of the island at the Ko'olaus. That peak in the center is Konahuaniu AKA K1, the highest peak of the Ko'olaus at 3150 feet. Several months later, I would make the trek to this high peak. It is rare when that peak is not surrounded by clouds. Today, you can just barely make out the summit. I also love that this shot captures the various depressions on the face of the mountain.
On we go. The trail ends right at Kalanianole Highway which feeds to the Pali, one of the three highways that get you from the Windward to the Leeward side of the island. The other two are the Likelike (pronounced lee-kay lee-kay) and the H3 (my favorite highway on the island). That mountain in the center is the popular yet challenging Three Peaks, one of my favorite Windward hikes.
There's even a little wildlife on this walk, which is a rare sight in Kailua (unless you count the chickens at Whole Foods). Here we have a few ducks waddling about.
And this egret giving me the cold shoulder. Apparently it was too good to model for me.
This red crested cardinal gave me a nice shot perched on the wall. I see these guys quite often around the island.
I had to take another shot of K1 with the marsh in the foreground. It is just magnificent! I cannot believe I get to see something this beautiful every day I drive to work.
That dip in the ridges is where the Pali Lookout is located. To the right of the dip is the ridge to the popular Pali Puka. To the left you can barely make out the man-made Pali notches.
A closer view of the Pali Notches. I had a pretty memorable experience hiking these beasts a few months ago. In case you can't tell from this shot, they are not for the faint of heart.
Here's a shot from a different time I walked this path. Not only is it great during the daytime, but it's incredible for sunsets too. Don't listen to way they say about Waikiki, Kailua can be lit as well!
And now it was time to head back home. I had one more night shift before I could become a normal human again. But after this walk, I felt rejuvenated, ready to tackle anything work would throw at me. It's places and moments like these that remind me that it really is #luckyweliveHI.
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Also Check Out:
- What the Department of Land and Natural Resources is doing to restore this marsh