Ohana Trail Mountain Bike Trail

See my YouTube on this ride here

Two bus rides are needed to get from Waikiki to the Ohana Trail, with some road riding each end. It’s mid-winter in Hawaii hence the weather has been unsettled. It has been very very windy in Waikiki for the past few days, not a bad thing as the wind’s brought some good surfing conditions when not choppy!

It’s not all bad, there have been many sunny days, and it’s never cold, even when it’s raining. Being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the weather forecasts can’t be relied upon, except for the hour or two ahead when using the Doppler forecast. So sometimes you just have to go for the ride and hope for the best. As I got nearer the East coast on the bus, the weather conditions deteriorated, with rain and fog, which really wasn’t what I wanted!

As it happens, the rain had stopped by the time I arrived at the bus stop, leaving the surrounding ridges shrouded in cloud, and a moody sky above.

The trail head wasn’t too difficult to find, around a twenty minute cycle ride from the bus stop.

See directions at the end of this blog.

I didn’t complete the ride, as usual I got lost, and rode the last third on random trails to a different finishing point the other side of the ridge. Apparently the last section is steep downhill, alas no epic descent for me this time.

The ground wasn’t quite as sandy as on other trails I’d ridden on Oahu, so from all the rain, the surface was a little muddy in places, but only in the form of scattered puddles. Other than the puddles here and there, which someone had raked out that morning, the trail is in very good condition. Every so often on the trail, you'll find a red rake, I guess, to use to tend the trail, such a good idea.

The first part of the ride is up-hill, mostly via bermed switch-backs. Due to the high winds over the past few days, there were a few branches across the trail.

The terrain gets increasingly varied the higher you go. It’s all single-track, and even for a non-peddler like myself, it was fab riding. There’s nothing scary or too technical, a little off-camber riding, a few small rocks, the rest is just winding on the mountainside or through the rain forest.

A very nice flow trail in fact, with many berms.

The uphill riding is interspersed with some short downs, and the downs increase the further you go up. I rode some nice downhill sections, with the a small jump opportunity here and there, but no drops. I didn't get to the ‘proper’ descent before getting lost, so can’t comment on that part of the trail.

I read somewhere that the trail had been rated easy, and saw a complaint that it should be upgraded to intermediate, which it was. In my opinion, for a not-too-skilled mountain biker, it was really nice, and if I think it’s nice, then it’s easy, remembering that I didn't ride the last section. I wouldn’t mind taking a fit first timer up there on a hard-tail or full sus. Again I don't know how difficult the last section is. I wouldn't call it gnarly, sketchy or rowdy, it was just a really good fun ride!

I stayed on the trail until a small yellow bench to the right of the trail, with a small viewing area to take in the fab view of the ridge and down to the pacific. After that I rode some more ups and downs, but when I came to a signpost, totally misinterpreted it and ended up off the Ohana trail.

I got deeper and deeper into the rain forest, it was really nice riding for a while, especially as I thought I was still on the trail. I did hit some signs further along, but they were quite ambiguous, and again I took the wrong road!

When the trail became very muddy, with only horse hoof prints in the mud, I realised I was lost.

You know how it is, you keep riding hoping to pick-up the trail again, alas it got muddier and muddier. Eventually I got my phone out and looked where I was on the GPS, which was a long way from the Ohana Trail. I turned around and tired to follow my footsteps, but got more lost and eventually was getting further from the trail. And I was getting worried! At one point I'd dropped my phone face down into the mud, which sent it into a partial re-boot, it wasn't until the next day I realised that my GPS wasn't working properly and had to do another re-boot to correct it. So I may have been nearer the trail than I thought.

At that point it was 5pm, with it starting to get dark at 6pm, I decided to abandon my efforts of getting back to the Ohana Trail and make my way out, reaching a road not long after. Thank god for mobile phones and GPS, it would be impossible for me to do anything without it!

My actual route! Bus route in blue, Bike route in green. It shouldn't have been a round trip!

It was annoying to not get the epic descent after all the pedalling, but still I had thoroughly enjoyed the part of the trail I did do. I’d recommend seeking this trail out if you’re in the area, I’d call it a chill trail, even with my swearing at the uphill pedalling, which normal people wouldn't do!

One important thing is take some bug repellant, my arms and legs are covered in bites!

The custodians of the trail do a really fantastic job, it’s in very good shape. If I had any criticism, it would be make the signs foolproof for dipshits like me!! I’d intended to do some tidying myself, but with getting lost, it was not possible. It was a pleasure.

Put it on your wish-list folks!

Info

Driving directions - High way 61 toward Kailua

Take highway 72

Ride the busy dual carriageway, you pass a correctional center

Turn right onto Old Kalanianaole Road

The trail head is on your right where the palms end, opposite what looks like a council highway compound.

Bus directions from the junction of Kailua and Uluoa bus stop

Take Uluoa then turn right onto Ulumalu (be careful, all the road names begin with Ul)

Turn right onto the footbridge and cross the highway

Ride the busy dual carriageway, you pass a correctional centre

Turn right onto Old Kalanianaole Road

The trail head is on your right where the palms end, opposite what looks like a council highway compound.

Facilities

None that I saw, except the exceptional trail!

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