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My 3rd hike with the Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club. We met at 8:30am and ended around 1:00pm (4.5 hrs).
Waianae Water-Walls-Water (organized by HTMclub):
"Hiking along two flowing streams, you’ll see pre-contact agricultural terraces as well as dams built by Wai’anae Sugar Company 100 years ago."
Today's hike we crossed several flowing streams - Kalalulu, Kukaki to the Kanewai Streams. Most of the hike was canopied by the shade of the valley's Ironwood and Lemon Eucalyptus trees and trekking through coffee plants, ferns... mostly non native species of plant life... probably a botanist's dream hike. The location has several shared trails from other known hikes: Wai'anae Waterworks, Wai'anae Rumble, and Wai'anae Kai to name a few.
Ridge / Valley
5 to 6 miles (Out & Back)
~ 2,651 feet* according to GPS of photo(s)
Slight incline, at the start of the hike, criss crossing along a dry stream bed.
Crossing streams... I recall seeing taro leaves thriving around the streams. Also remember the smell of strawberry guavas on the trail (forgot to take a picture of them)… what a delight!
Look at these tropical vines...
Finally, came across our 1st mini waterfall. With grippy water shoes and hiking sticks, traversing onward made it easier but there was also a rope to get around this section safely.
Unfortunately, we missed the slightly taller… ~15-ft waterfall just short distance from this mini-falls.
Our group didn’t know about it. If you start doing a steep climb... having stayed left on the trail... onto this slippery dry grass then that is why we missed the bigger waterfall. We should’ve gone straight and would’ve hit it on a dead end.
Here we finally got peek-a-boo views. Can’t remember if we were facing the direction of Kamaile'unu Ridge or Pahe’ehe’e Ridge? We were about 2,651 feet above sea level. (Side Comment: The highest elevation hike I’ve ever done was back in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Our port excursion was a hike up the Gros Piton at 2,619 feet above sea level.)
Today, we were told to follow white and/or pink trail markers. It was easy to see how anyone could easily get turned around on the trail. Eventually, we meander to what’s believe to be the remanence of the old Wai’anae Plantation Manager's house. We saw multi-level terraces and several steps leading to a nearby stream.
I believe this is the Sagebud: Delta Maidenhair (Adiantum raddianum) which decorate this wall.
We stumbled upon an area we can only assume was used as a gathering place since the stone walls were fully enclosed in a circular shape with no exit or entrance.
Directly above us was an old coffee mill site. I really need to get the book, "Historic Waianae a Place of Kings" (Affiliate Link) which may give insight to the history of the plantations and coffee mills. Imagine this wall being built as a result of planting coffee back in the late 1800s.
Love being in this gorge.
We darted up and around Kanewai Stream to the Kenawai Dam.
Time to follow the white ribbons back down. A good portion of the hike was pleasantly next to the sounds and views of the streams. Not rushing through the hike, we caught a glimpse of what we assume was a group of hunters… their make-shift camp. Looks like they’ll be in the valley awhile. They even brought an ukulele to entertain themselves. Looks like a scene from Survivor, doesn’t it?!
I really appreciated the folks who groom the trail. There wouldn’t be a trail if the club hadn’t come and weed wack prior to this scheduled hike.
Back at our parking spot! Time to strip off the layers. Transition from hiking / water shoes to slippers. Peeled off both knee support sleeves for my creaky knees. Sitting in the car felt good. A good meal and nap is in order.
BugAway Insect Shield Women's Pants (Affiliate Link) - It’s made of nylon is durable for the twists and turns, branches and bouldering that we did on the hike. Plus, entering the forest = mosquitos which love me and these pants saved me from them. They also dry quickly for all the stream crossings we encountered.