My holidays were filled with lots of eating and now I’m feeling the need to get out and get active. Anyone else feeling the same?
The Lanikai Pillbox Hike, also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, is a great place to get some exercise and enjoy some amazing views. It’s a steady uphill climb and will give you a good workout, especially if you are trying to keep up with your 6 year old like I was.
The first part of the trail is the steepest and the rocks and dirt are loose, but after a bit the trail gets easier and the beautiful views begin.
This is a popular trail with people of all ages. It’s not without it’s dangerous spots and has some high drop offs and slippery areas (we came across a lady who had slipped and was waiting for a rescue by the fire department), but with a little bit of caution it can be a safe and fun adventure for the whole family. A few pictures can describe it better than I can so here’s an example of a steep drop-off in front of the hikers pictured:
And here’s what it looked like hiking that section. There’s plenty of space to keep away from the edge of the drop-off. Our 6 year old hiked the whole trail on his own and our 3 year old hiked most of it with my husband behind her holding both of her hands for support.
At the top of the trail are two pillboxes that make a great place for panoramic photos and/or a snack. You can climb in the pillboxes and sit on top of them. The last time we hiked this we went to both pillboxes and I think our entire adventure last about two hours which includes all the time we spent hanging out at each pillbox. I’ve read that you can take the trail past the second pillbox and it will take you down the other end of the ridge and then you can walk back to your car on the neighborhood streets but I haven’t done that.
I’ll end this post as I began, by saying this is a great little hike if you want to get some exercise and see some amazing scenery.
Do it yourself on Oahu
Location: The Lanikai Pillboxes are on Kaiwa Ridge which is behind the community of Lanikai.
Directions: From Kailua, head southeast past Kailua Beach Park and the boat ramp. Stay along the coast and head into Lanikai. At the Y, stay to the right on Aalapapa Drive. Then take a right on Kaelepulu Drive. Find street parking here and then walk up the street. Just before the road enters a gated community you’ll see a road that goes off to the left. Take this road to the trailhead which is off the right side of this unnamed road.
Parking: Street parking along Kaelepulu Drive.
Facilities: No restrooms or other facilities here.
Other: As mentioned in the post, this trail is steep and has drop-offs in some locations. Use caution and you’ll have a fun and safe adventure. I’d recommend taking water and wearing sunscreen. If your kids are like mine, taking snacks will help you have happy hikers.