Winding down the coast, this scenic 9½-mile one-way hiking and mountain-biking trail winds along the back side of the Maunawili Valley, following the base of the lofty Koʻolau Range. It clambers up and down gulches, across streams and along ridges, awarding panoramic views of mountains and the sea.
Hiking the Maunawili Trail in an easterly direction is least strenuous, as you will be trekking from the mountains down to the coast at Waimanalo. Follow the entire route and you need to leave a second car in a remote, not-so-secure area or get a service such as Uber or Lyft (about $30) back to the start. About 2 trail miles east of the Pali Hwy, a connecting trail veers off downhill to the small, pooling Maunawili Falls.
Note that the Maunawili trailhead is on the southern side of the Pali Hwy and can only be accessed from the eastbound lane. About a mile northeast of the Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside, pull off right at the ‘scenic point’ turnout at the hairpin turn just before the 7-mile marker. Walk through the break in the guardrail, where a footbridge takes you to the trail.