Kailua town can best be defined by its beautiful sandy beaches. But look mauka of that (toward the mountains), and you’ll discover a piece of nature that is just as beautiful.
One place in particular would be the Kawai Nui Marsh, which is the largest wetlands in the state. To me, the best way to experience this place would be by taking a stroll through the marsh trail. It is tucked behind a residential neighborhood and stretches in and out of the marsh for about 1.5 miles. The trail leads to either a community park (if you start on the Pali Highway side) or a vista point (if you start near Kaha Street).
Many people enjoy biking, walking and jogging up and down this path. My sister and I often walk my dog here, too, as do many others. You’ll see lots of ducks around and hear birds in the distance. Look closely into the shallow marsh waters, and you’ll see tiny fish nipping at the surface.
The marsh trail is a nice alternative to visitors who want to do a hike while in Hawaii but perhaps cannot endure the uphill climbs or uneven terrain. The Kawai Nui Marsh Trail is safe for all ages, young and old.
But what I love most about this trail is that it’s usually always quiet. That’s because it is far away from the busyness of Kailua town, protected in its own little peaceful bubble – it seems. I’m always in awe when we come here during sunset. The soft golden rays that quietly slip behind the Koolau mountain range are simply breathtaking.
KAWAI NUI MARSH TRAIL
• 873 Kihapai St., Kailua, HI 96734 • Free parking in community park lot or at vista point (right off of Pali Hwy)