Hikers will no longer be able to explore Mariner’s Ridge in Hawaii Kai after a 7-foot-tall fence went up at the beginning of the trail. It sits on private property, and therefore is not a hike sanctioned by the state.
Up until the fence, thousands have trotted through this trail at one point or another during the past few decades. Even with the most recent addition of a chain across the entrance, hikers just ducked right underneath and proceeded to hike. However, a string of complaints by neighbors and a growing list of injured hikers led owner Kamehameha Schools to put up the larger fence. One man also died on the trail in June 2013.
Despite how beautiful of a hike Mariner’s was, I do not blame Kamehameha for their decision to barricade the entrance. The trail is not maintained regularly and can therefore lead to further erosion, injuries or – even worse – deaths. It was also becoming so popular that the Mariner’s neighborhood got really congested with cars and people. Not to mention, the trail had also been pretty jam-packed.
While a fence might not be totally effective in keeping out hikers, the neighborhood watch will be! You can bet at least one angry neighbor will stop those trying to trespass. And rightfully so! In recent years, neighbors have complained about an influx of litter and noise near their houses, as well as hikers smoking pot in front of their homes.
The good news is that the Sierra Club and Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club will be given limited access for supervised hikes at specific times of the year, so it’s still possible to explore this trail if you haven’t yet. Check out their website for upcoming guided hikes.