Aloha from the Hau’ula and Ma’akua Trails

So I am in Hawaii this week for a bit of work but I have managed to carve out a little time to grab a rental bike and get it dirty.  The destination for this excursion was the north-east shore of Oahu to ride the Ma’akua Ridge Loop and the Hau’ula Loop Trails. 

I have always wanted to be able to give these trail directions, “Just past the trail sign, turn left at the engine block”.

Got Chunk?   There is a creek crossing in Papali Gulch that will put most people on their feet.

The trade winds were bringing lots of puffy clouds across the windward side of the island so there were lots of transitions from bright sunny conditions to threatening patches of rain clouds.  The terrain was often tricky in spots with bits of roots and rocks.

After climbing up along a ridgeline for quite some time I came to this exception section of trail where the ridge had eroded down to a 3 foot wide knife-edge section about  50 yards long with vegetation covered cliffs to either side.   The flora hid most of the exposure but was certainly there.   The photo does little justice.

Before long the trail reached the highpoint of the loop and the trail turned back towards the ocean and a run down the Ma’akua Ridge proper.  It was quite a blast and I only stopped for a couple of pictures.

Once I reached the bottom of the loop and connected up with the Hau’ula Loop Trail which goes up a series of ridgelines to the north of the Ma’akua Ridge I was just on.

There was some significant difference in the flora along this trail as there were stands of pine trees on these ridges.  While I’m not sure of the exact species of the pine it was something along the line of a Douglas fir.   While I had been sprinkled on a little earlier in the ride, and really nice storm cloud blew through and gave the ground a good and steady pelting for about 10 minutes while blowing through.   I waited it out under thick foliage tree and stayed basically dry.

One thing that was pretty awesome along this trail was the wild tropical fruit growing along the trail.  Snacking on Guava and Lilikoi (Hawaiin Passionfruit) right along the trail truly gave the impression of being in a tropical paradise.

What was not paradise was the numerous roots that had now become wet which turned the normally challenging trail features into full on treachery.

The last half of this loop was mostly downhill and the descent through pines was pretty freaking cool and not what I expected in Hawaii.  The trail pops out about half a mile from the ocean and my waiting car at the Hau’ula Beach Park.   Before driving back to Waikiki I scrubbed off all the mud and muck from the ride with a nice swim in the Pacific.  Life is good on a bike.

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