The hike at Mariner’s Ridge is the most accessible peak in the Koolau mountain range. Everyday, dozens of hikers trek through the trail for stunning views of Oahu’s south and east shores and, not to mention, a quick, butt-burning workout as well.

But because Mariner’s is not an official hike sanctioned by the state, hikers are warned to proceed at their own risk. Normally, I try to stay away from writing about unsanctioned hikes. This one in Hawaii Kai, however, is no secret to the public. Visitors and locals (and family pets) of all ages frequent this well-traveled path.

What prompted me to write a post about Mariner’s, however, were the chain and notice put up recently at the start of the hike. The notice reminds hikers that use of the area will be considered trespassing on private property and that violators will be prosecuted. The landowners posted both the notice and chain at the beginning of April; however, that hasn’t stopped hikers from ducking under the chain and continuing their trek along the ridge.

I’ve been hiking Mariner’s for years and have seen the “Private Property” sign posted to the right of the trailhead. But I always thought the sign was meant for lands to the right of it and not the trail itself. I’m pretty sure other hikers thought the same thing. There has never been any barriers or fencing keeping hikers out, until the recently-installed chain going across the entrance.

Like other unsanctioned hikes in Hawaii, Mariner’s Ridge raises the same concerns about safety. Mainly, that hikers should proceed at their own risk – no matter if you’re a local or a tourist. And if you’re a tourist and are unfamiliar with the hike, please play it smart and choose a safer, sanctioned hike instead.

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