If you’re looking for an medium-easy hike on Oahu that takes you through the various tropical settings Hawaii has to offer, and provides a great lookout at the top, than look no further than the Ma’akua Ridge Loop Trail on the east side of the island.
The hike starts out at the end of Hau’ula Homestead Road. Several sources suggest parking at the Hau’ula Beach Park, we took the advice, and walked up the road to the end. Stay to the right at the top and head towards the dirt road at the back, you’ll see a sign that says vandalism prevalent (PS, those signs will keep people off your lawn).
After you pass the gate and walk the windy road, a little ways you’ll see a sign for the Hau’ula Ridge Loop Trail to your right. This trail is a 2.5 mile loop that takes you on moderate grade and through some great pines and overlooks of the bay and town. Proceeding further on the dirt path, past the graffiti wall, you’ll see a trail leading down and to the left. This is the Ma’akua Ridge Loop Trail.
You’ll quickly go through a little grove and over a rock bed and begin switch backs up. If it’s muddy, be careful. You’ll come to a few lookouts where you can rest and take pictures. We suggest you do this. At the last switchback, you’ll come to a bench and a sign pointing you back up into the ridge to the right. We suggest this counterclockwise loop to take you through the forest with the rewarding ridge and overlooks at the end.
You’ll have plenty of views back in the valley and they’re amazing. Make sure to look up and out through the clearing as much as you can. Once you get to the ridge, you’ll know it, the views a spectacular.
Finally you’ll retrace your steps back past the overlook with the bench, take a rest, then follow the switchbacks down to the graffiti wall.
If you have enough energy. Head to the Hau’ula Ridge Loop Trail for another 2.5 miles, or head out for North Shore Tacos and a dip in the ocean.