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Its only 1" on the map!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This past Saturday was the last day on my Hawaii business trip and I was able to carve out some time on Saturday morning for a ride. The destination was the Maunawili Trail on the windward side (east) of the island. I got an early enough start that I had to casually get ready at the trailhead while waiting for daylight to join me at the rally point.



The Maunawili trail is a 10 mile singletrack that countours along the foothills above the Maunawili Valley and near the striking cliff bases of the Ko'olau Mountains. All of the descriptions of this trail I have found recommeneded it as a point-to-point from the north end near the Pali Lookout and going south down to the community of Waimanalo. There was only about 1,000 feet of elevation between the high and low points so that even accounting for some undulations in the trail it should not be too bad as an out-and-back. The sun did not make a majestic entrance when I started out from Waimanalo. It was quite cloudy when I set off on the double track climb that would take me up to the start of the trail proper.



The doubletrack was not horrible, but the singletrack was downright awesome pretty much right from the get go. Sweet narrow goodness etchned into steep hillsides was the theme most the time. While most of the trail tread is smooth, there are numerous rooty and rocky section to keep your technical skills on point.



The trail when in and out of numerous foothill fingers and while the cloudy morning was putting a damper on the full beauty of this place it was still impressive. The promenance of the cliffs often made me feel downright small.



The beauty of this trail really did a good job of hiding the danger of the steep hillside that was often less than a foot off the trail thread. If this was a barren desert trail, it would be easy to get wigged out about some of the exposure. Mother Nature added to the deception and danger of some of these spots with ferns that grow in from the high side of the trail. I preferred having my faced brushed by ferns over finding a weak spot on the downhill edge of the trail.



The flora on this trail was simply incredible. I only knew what a few of the types I saw where. Later on I found out that I had been cruising under cool stuff like mango trees, pink guava, a plethorea of ferns, and a bunch of native plants that contained way too many vowels for me to pronounce.



As I started nearing the north end of the trail, there was more signs of use and well as trail maintenance. In some of the wet spots a few boardwalks had been installed to help the trail and habitat keep from getting thrashed. At this point one thing was for sure, this trail is uphill in both directions. It took me a lot longer than expected to cover the 10 miles and reach the north end of the trail at Pali highway. The plan was enjoy the trail in other direction, but I did not have enough time now as I had after lunch work committments. With a great deal of reluctance, I played grown up and dropped off the mountain on the road and speedily made my way back to my car. The work went well, but I did have to burn some "lamp oil" to polish everything off. One thing is for certain, this will not be my last ride on this trail. I'm already looking forward to a sunny day return...someday.
 

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govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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nice photos mtb bill--brings back memories--did you get a chance to helmet cam any of it? thx for posting this.

for those visiting Oahu that can dedicate an entire day, I suggest riding the Muanawili from Pali side, have a vehicle meet you at the other end, road trip it up to Hu'ulu (sp?) Loop, ride it then drive some more finishing up with "Cambodia"--trailhead past the forest gate and a ways down to the left up above the Foodland near Shark's Cove.

3 great XC trails. Throw in Aeia on a different day, and maybe some of the forest road at Peacock Flats and Kaena Point for scenery, and you have some of the best, legal riding on Oahu. Oh if there's an event, ride Kualoa Ranch.
 

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Great report!

I have ridden Maunawili a few times and agree the singletrack is really cool, but I have to constantly dismount and walk the rocky drainages that seem to come up all too often. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
 

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Its only 1" on the map!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rev Bubba said:
Since you said you were in Hawaii on business, I'm curious if you rented a bike or brought your own?
I have access to the military bases, so I rented one from the Pearl Harbor Outdoor Adventure Center. It was a brand new Specialized Hardrock that still had the new chain sticky lub on it. It costs me only $37 for five days. I was pretty darn happy with it. I'm going to bring over a bike this summer when I'll be on Oahu for a month. With what the airlines charge these days it is cost prohibitive for a short trip. You will get jacked for about $200 each way to put a bike box that is over 50lbs on a plane.
 

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Its only 1" on the map!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ArmySlowRdr said:
nice photos mtb bill--brings back memories--did you get a chance to helmet cam any of it? thx for posting this.

for those visiting Oahu that can dedicate an entire day, I suggest riding the Muanawili from Pali side, have a vehicle meet you at the other end, road trip it up to Hu'ulu (sp?) Loop, ride it then drive some more finishing up with "Cambodia"--trailhead past the forest gate and a ways down to the left up above the Foodland near Shark's Cove.

3 great XC trails. Throw in Aeia on a different day, and maybe some of the forest road at Peacock Flats and Kaena Point for scenery, and you have some of the best, legal riding on Oahu. Oh if there's an event, ride Kualoa Ranch.
Did not take the helmet cam this trip. I did not want to check a second bag and my first bag was getting crowded with pesky work stuff. I'll take it with me this summer. I'm looking forward to getting out to more stuff then. The Kualoa Ranch offer MTB tours most of the time. If there are no events, do you think it would be worth it to drop some cash to check it out?
 

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govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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That's great you're getting to go for a whole month. The tour might not be bad, but I'd make doing the other trails I mentioned a higher priority. The guys at the bike shop in Aeia and their "downtown" store are pretty cool and can point you the right way.

The Alford book about MTB Hawaii along with a fellow warrnat officer and certain members from the Hawaii Bicycling League steered me to the good trails.

mtbbill said:
Did not take the helmet cam this trip. I did not want to check a second bag and my first bag was getting crowded with pesky work stuff. I'll take it with me this summer. I'm looking forward to getting out to more stuff then. The Kualoa Ranch offer MTB tours most of the time. If there are no events, do you think it would be worth it to drop some cash to check it out?
 

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Live Now, Pay Later
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wow those trails look amazing! i would love to be able to ride that. i was in hawaii a few years ago and loved it but this was before i started mtb'ing. i've been wanting to go back and after seeing these pics they make me want to go even more.
 

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Wildcard said:
wow those trails look amazing! i would love to be able to ride that. i was in hawaii a few years ago and loved it but this was before i started mtb'ing. i've been wanting to go back and after seeing these pics they make me want to go even more.
im game for that trip yo
 

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Wow. Great photos! I rode that trail about 10 years ago and it was pretty wet. Good to see they put in the wooden planks. One thing I remember is that mud was some sticky stuff. It took me hours to clean off the bike I borrowed from my cousin.

Love the shot off the Pali in the AM. Must have been awesome. Just the ride up Nuuanu must have been fantastic before sunrise. I imagine the thick cool humidity mixed with the strong floral scents was amazing. Wish I could ride that tomorrow am. Damn!
 
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