Waihou Springs Trail in Olinda Forest

 

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Cool, shady trails; wide, smooth pathways, and lots of trees to climb!

Location: Olinda Forest, above Makawao town

What to bring: drinking water, snacks and  a jacket, sometimes it’s chilly at this elevation

Amenities:Free parking on roadside, no bathrooms

Adventure level: Levels 1, 2 and 3: strollers with off-road wheels can access first 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile of trail (pictured above) The loop trail is level two for bumpy roots and hills. The switchback trail down to Waihou springs is level three for slippery footing and steep and dangerous drop-offs.

Time: the loop trail can be walked in 1/2 hour to 1 hour, however there are so many fun places to play and explore along the trail that we sometimes stay all day

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It is truly amazing how long kids can be entertained just hanging out in the forest playing with sticks.  And Olinda forest is the land of sticks, and pine trees, and relaxing because your child can’t really destroy anything here.  They can climb fallen trees, and hit pine trees with sticks and throw pine needles. The air is fresh and clean and there is lots of room to run, jump and play. We recently hiked the loop trail with a group of 3 and 4 year olds who were able to walk the entire trail by themselves, with a lot of playing and resting along the way.

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Cautions: There is a barb-wire fence alongside the parking area and first section of the trail, its covered in grass and off to the side so not too much of a worry.  There is an offshoot of the loop trail leading to a lookout point.  From the lookout, a switch back trail descends to Waihou Springs; this section can be treacherous and several people have had to be airlifted out after slipping and falling. I recommend staying on the main trail and loop trail.

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