Mokuleia Forest Reserve Access Road

Image Credit Google|
Like Dislike Save
Phone (808) 973-9782
Address 68-387 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791
Moderately difficult, 4.2 mile long (each way) hiking trail on Oahu's north shore.

• General: Cost: Free • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 4-5 Miles • Hiking: Level: Moderate • Hiking: Major Elevation Changes
• Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Vehicle Activities: Biking

The Mokuleia Forest Reserve Access Road is a 4.2 mile long (each way), out and back style hiking trail located in the Waialua area on the north shore of O'ahu.

Getting to the trailhead is very easy and our map / directions pages marks the start of the trail. Get yourself headed towards the north shore but instead of heading east to the popular town of Haleiwa, you'll head east towards Ka'ena Point (see Ka'ena Point Bird Sanctuary) and Dillingham Airfield.

Head west on the Farrington Highway for a bit and the trailhead, along with a small parking area, will be on your left of the Farrington. It's pretty much across from Makaleha Beach Park. If you've reached Dillingham Airfield you went a bit too far.

Once parked, head through the two green gates and proceed up the paved access road (no vehicles are allowed on this road). Keep going and you'll pass several more green gates. The road will eventually climb into a gulch and narrow to a single lane.

With elevation gains of around 1,400 feet, the Mokuleia Forest Reserve Access Road is often considered a moderately difficult hike. Since this is an out and back trail, you'll also be hiking a full 4.2 miles back out if you hike all the way in.

By the sixth gate you will have reached a signed junction at the Mokuleia Forest Reserve boundary. To your left will be the Mokuleia Trail and straight ahead will be access to Mokuleia & Kuaokala Firebreak Roads if you wish to go on further. Otherwise, you can turn around at this point and head back.

You can also access the other end of the trail starting from the Ka'ena Point Tracking Station though if you start at that end you will need a hiking permit to get in. Note that there is no camping allowed on this trail nor can you have any open fires. Be sure to bring plenty of water and read Hiking Safety & Essentials before heading out.

Curious about the history of this road? It was originally built in the 1960s by the US Army as a way to reach the Waianae summit above Mokuleia to build a Nike-Hercules radar station. These were surface to air missile stations that would defend O'ahu against a Soviet bomber attack. Once intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were developed the station became obsolete and was decommissioned in 1970. The abandoned site is now a nursery for growing native plants and run by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife. The trail was opened in 1992 to public hikers to provide access to Mokuleia Trail and Mokuleia & Kuaokala Firebreak Roads.