With an urban corridor that is home to nearly a million people—more than double the rest of the Islands combined—you wouldn't think that Oahu has more trailheads than Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island. But it does. Two mountain ranges, the Ko'olau and the Waianae, run parallel north to south, with trailheads on both east and west slopes.
Many of the trails, a couple dozen, begin right above the neighborhoods of Honolulu. Families enjoy the views at Pu'u Ualaka'a State Lookout (above).
The Moleka is part of the network of Tantalus Trails, more than 20 miles of lush walking that branch off a 10-mile circle road just minutes from downtown Honolulu.
About half the trails in Hawaii are part of the State's Na Ala Hele ("trails for walking") system that was established in 1988.
It doesn't take long to experience the wilderness. The wildest part is navigating Oahu's byzantine suburban roads to the trailhead parking.
The Kalawahine Trail goes right up the gut at Tantalus, with many options for loops.
The miles-long paths at the Lyon Arboretum are a botanist's dream. Most visitors miss this beauty since it is next to the touristy Manoa Falls Trail.
Bring your for-real hiking gear to Oahu, since you can get 'out there' fast. Many of the trails are steep (bring hiking poles) and lead to razorback ridges. Always stay on the trail, since the jungle can swallow hikers in an easy gulp. Oahu Trailblazer has all of Oahu's hikes, for all levels of hiker.