It’s not uncommon for the start of a hike to be in the middle of a neighborhood; off the top of my head, there’s Lanikai Pillboxes, Aiea Loop Trail and Mariner’s Ridge – all of which require hikers to park and walk through a residential neighborhood.
One neighborhood in particular has been making efforts to improve the situation. Those who live near the Maunawilli Falls hike formed a group called MECA, also known as the Maunawilli Estates Community Association. They want to address the four biggest issues – parking, bathrooms, security and trash.
According to a report by KHON, the state is considering creating a parking lot and restrooms near the trailhead. Security cameras will also be part of that consideration, and while the solution is still in its infant stages, residents say it is a step in the right direction.
I would like to think that every hiker minds their trash and noise levels when walking through a neighborhood; however, that is not always the case. Maunawilli residents say that litter has gotten way out of control, so has the parked cars. Apparently, hikers have been blocking driveways and even asking to use their bathrooms.
While not every hiker is guilty of this, it has become a reoccurring issue for residents, so I don’t blame them for taking a stand. And that’s not to say it is only visitors trotting through the neighborhood but locals as well. It all boils down to respect; respect for the hosting neighborhood, respect for the trail and respect for other hikers. Mahalo!