Waimano Ridge


2013-01-17 10.24.04

I had previously done a loop on this trail a couple of years ago.  You can find that here.  The trail starts at the top of Waimano Home road where there is a gate that is guarded heading up to whatever facility is up the hill.  I’m told it was a mental health facility at one time but I don’t know for sure.  You can park in the dirt on the side of the road and the trail starts right near that guard station.

We started the trail knowing that we were looking for the ridge so we stayed on upper Waimano trail and contoured up the trail along the fence.  Shortly we came across a bench where we were looking over a valley and over at the next ridge where the Manana Trail is located.  Nearby we saw a trail leading back into a wooded area.  I mistook this for the ridge trail we were looking for.  Although, in hindsight, I should have known better since the Na Ala Hele web site said that the Waimano Ridge trail is maintained.  The sign cautioned us that this trail was not maintained but we explored it anyway.  The trail took us back along the fence where we saw many abandoned buildings and other structures.  Eventually the trail got a little tricky since there were no ropes and the slope was loose soil slanted down into the valley.  So we headed back to the main trail.

After getting back on the mail trail we went down into the valley a little and past a couple of tunnels.  They looked to me like some sort of irrigation ditch or perhaps a way to help prevent erosion from water coming down from the ridge.  It wasn’t long before we reached another junction in the trail.  This time it was the junction we were looking for.  Unfortunately, we burned some time on the first detour so we didn’t make it all that far before turning back.  We went about  a half mile or so up the ridge trail when we ran into some ropes to help you across the same type of terrain that caused us to abandon the first trail.  Unfortunately, my friend’s little dog, Gizmo, was pretty freaked out and we didn’t think he would be able to get across safely.  He’s small enough to carry but then you’d be short of an arm to help you across.  So we just called it a day.  I didn’t expect to complete this long trail that day, but I would have liked to make it out of the valley and up the ridge a bit.

On the return trip we took the lower Waimano trail and made it a loop.  The lower Waimano trail goes down into the valley and then runs along a dry creek bed.  I imagine the earlier tunnels were used to direct water into the stream, perhaps even for drinking water.  Poor little Gizmo wasn’t done with his adventure yet.  We dipped down into the creek bed just for a few dozen yards and he apparently didn’t see us climb up and out.  So we watched for a few minutes as we walked along above the creek bed to see if he would find his way up to where we were.  Pretty soon, though, he started to whine.  It was funny and so cute.  Poor little guy was stuck.

After my friend rescued Gizmo we finished up the trail walking though some beautiful rainforest.  The total trip was about 3.5 miles including our first detour.  It was a great little trail and pretty kid friendly too.

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