The most popular, and populated, trail on Windward Oʻahu ascends and descends flights of wooden stairs and crosses a stream several times before reaching the small, pooling Maunawili Falls amid tropical vegetation. When the trail forks, veer left; straight ahead is the connector to the much longer Maunawili Trail.
Even with the moderate elevation change, this 2.5-mile round-trip is kid-friendly and you’ll see lots of families on the trail at weekends. Just be prepared, as the way can be muddy and mosquitoes are omnipresent.
To reach the trailhead, driving east on the Pali Hwy from Honolulu, take the second right-hand exit onto Aʻuloa Rd. At the first fork, veer left onto Maunawili Rd, which ends in a residential subdivision; look for a gated trailhead-access road on the left. Note that this road is accessible only to pedestrians (and by residents’ vehicles); nonresidents may not drive or park along this road. Instead, park along nearby residential streets that aren’t gated.