The tropical islands in the Hawaiian island chain are the perfect place to go hiking through rainforests. Even on Oahu visitors can find easily accessible rainforest land to hike through. However, those planning to hike through a rainforest should remember to bring good hiking shoes because of the terrain, and wear plenty of mosquito repellent, as the humidity and fresh water pools found in these rainforests are mosquito breeding grounds.
Maunawili Falls, Oahu
Maunawili Falls is a waterfall hike starting at Kelewina Road in Kailua. Though the ultimate destination is a 25-foot waterfall which drops into a pool of fresh water that you can swim in, you will first have to traverse through dense rainforest and cross three streams to get there. Though the hike is relatively short--fewer than 1 1/2 miles each way--hikers will find themselves climbing to the top of the ridgeline, some 500 feet up, for spectacular views of the Ko'olau mountain range. Amongst the dense foliage and vines you will come across banana plants, impossibly tall wild ginger and also wild coffee trees.
Akaka Falls, Hawaii
The hike at Akaka Falls State Park, just north of Hilo, actually leads to not one but two waterfalls. The trail is a loop trail allowing hikers to easily visit both waterfalls. The first, Kahuna Falls is a 400-foot-high waterfall just a 30-minute walk through dense foliage from the beginning of the trail head. The second waterfalls, Akaka Falls is even taller at 448 feet and is just a little further up the trail. Along the trail you will pass enormous bamboo, vines, wild orchids and large ferns.
Jungle Hike, Kauai
There are a lot of companies on Kauai that will sell "jungle hike" tours. However, it is actually fairly easy to do your own self-guided jungle hike. Follow Kuamo'o Road. Stay on the dirt road until the road turns into a "Y" intersection. Follow the road left to another "Y" intersection, and go left again. You will pass through two gates. Park at the second gate, and follow the dirt road. You will come to the site where the Jurassic Park entrance gate scene was filmed. There are also some spectacular views of Wai'ale'ale Crater. Follow the trail through ferns, dense trees, and up 150 feet to a ridge which will take you to a freshwater pool. You can continue to follow the trail up over the hill to an unnamed waterfall.
Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen
Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.