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Posted on Jul 8, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – A blessing was held today to mark the beginning of a long-term management plan to protect the Maunawili Falls Trail and the surrounding neighborhoods. The popular trail will be temporarily closed beginning next week on July 15. The closure is expected to be for two years and includes the trailhead near the Maunawili Estates subdivision.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work on improvements to the Maunawili Falls Trail,” said Marigold Zoll, O‘ahu Branch Manager for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “We look forward to working with the community on a plan that honors and preserves the natural and cultural  resources of Maunawili and also affords visitors opportunities to respectfully enjoy the valley.”

Acting on the recommendation of a cultural consultant, in an effort to preserve cultural and archaeological sites, DOFAW is working with the landowner to close the access point. While the trailhead is closed, hikers will still be able to visit Maunawili Falls via the Maunawili Trail (also known as the Maunawili Demonstration Trail), which is accessed from the scenic overlook just beyond the hairpin turn on the Pali Highway. Long-term parking is not permitted at the overlook and hikers must be dropped off.

The master plan will explore enhancements, such as developing on-site parking and comfort station facilities for trail users away from the adjacent neighborhood. It will also address policies and procedures to support sustainable, long-term use of the trail in a way that prioritizes the protection of the cultural sites and is sensitive to area residents. DLNR has engaged Helber Hastert & Fee, Planners (HHF Planners) to conduct the community planning process and produce the master plan.

An initial assessment by Honua Consulting identified Native Hawaiian cultural and archaeological features throughout the valley, such as heiau, irrigated and dryland agricultural terraces, and ‘auwai constructions.

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