To the Lighthouse

Oahu is known for its epic hikes. But one destination in particular acts as a perfect pairing for people looking for an outdoor excursion, without all the mud, dirt and driving. Located just a hop, skip and a jump from Honolulu, Makapu’u lighthouse trail offers a smoothly paved nature trail all can enjoy, right down to the stroller-cruisin’ keiki. One of Hawaii's most familiar landmarks, the lovely lighthouse perched atop the Makapu’u path was built in 1909, but didn’t begin operation until later in 1974. For those who muster up the energy and will to master Makapu’u’s 2-mile, steady ascent, the breathtaking view that greets you is more than enough reward for breaking that sweat. Arriving at the summit, the sweeping, panoramic view of the Windward side of Oahu will leave you breathless (or maybe that’s the after-effects from the hike?) Either way, gazing down at the deep blue waters of Hawaii, with the gorgeous and wild coastline of “Rabbit Island” (officially known as Manana Island) right in front of you, offers an all-encompassing experience not soon forgotten. Also, on clear days—if your eyes are keen—you may even be lucky enough to make out the outline of the island of Molokai in the distance. In fact, the waters of the Molokai Channel itself run past this bright beacon, making it an excellent spot to stop and take it all in. While you are at it, be sure to watch for the famous Humpback whales on their seasonal pilgrimage between the peak months of December and April. Photos ops abound, and this is one hike you won’t want to miss—especially with its user-friendly logistics. In fact, there is absolutely no excuse for almost anyone to not partake of this particular path’s beauty. Simply strap on your sneakers (hey, some even wear slippahs) and get ready to get your cardio on! Makapu’u’s entrance can be found easily from the bustling city of Honolulu by heading East to Kalanianaole Highway (Route 72). Just as you pass the easily-recognizable landmarks of Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach Park, you will see Hawaii Kai Golf Course on your left. Keep going about one mile farther and nature, beauty and a butt-kickin’ lighthouse trail hike awaits your conquering footsteps. A hui hou! (We’ll see you soon). by Andy Beth Miller