Oahu’s Manana Trail

I’m back from my quick work trip to Hawaii, but before I finished up there, I was able to squeeze in a second ride.  The Manana trail was less than 15 minutes from where I was working so it fit the bill for a post-work ride.  It was pretty short trail mileage-wise but mileage can be deceptive sometimes, particularly if the terrain is interesting. 

Such was the case with this trail.  There were plenty of roots to contend with on the first half of this ride.   I was glad today was a dry day as these things can turn your bike into an ejection seat rather easily when wet.   With the roots dry they were manageable and allowed for some serious brushing up on the technical “monkey motion” skills.  There were two unscheduled nose-wheelies that I still have no idea how I managed to keep from going over the bars.

Somewhere around the 1.5 mile mark the trail comes out of the thick foliage and starts following a somewhat open ridgeline.   In the picture above you should be able to make out the cut of the trail.  The trail was actually easier for a while along this ridge as the roots were much more sparce.  The views of the Ko’olau Mountains to the east continued to be intriguing as I climbed but the peaks were mostly shroud by the tradewinds clouds spilling over from the windward side of the island.

The views of the Waianae mountain range on the west side of island opened up behind me as I climbed.   I imagine that a morning time ride would be the best time to take in this view.

The trail follows up the ridge for a while and then started a bit more roller coasteering with things getting steeper.  It was easy to tell that I was moving beyond where most hikers where opting to turn around and head back as the trail transitioned from a dirt tread to a short grassy tread.  There were also plenty of strawberry guava plants along the trail which gave me great excuses to stop and sample the goods.  Snacking on tasty native edibles seemed downright decadent.

As the ridgeline undulations became larger and steeper, the hike-a-bike sections became more frequent and longer.   The trail started giving me glimpses of what a tropical version of the Los Pinos Trail in Orange County would look like.  Hike-a-Biking rarely bothers me as some of the best riding I have ever done has involved some quality time with your feet on the ground.  The Manana trail goes up to the Ko’olau summit over the course of six miles so this could be up to a 12-mile ride.  I did maybe six to eight miles total opting to turn around at a point where I thought the daylight buffer and expected return time equation seemed to balance out.   The actual return time was much quicker than expected and I wish I would have pressed onward a little further.   Maybe next time.

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