Friendship Garden | Kokokahi ridge (Oneawa hills)

Kokokahi ridge (Oneawa hills) | Friendship Garden

Friendship Garden

I would highly recommend the Friendship Garden for a hike with kids. It is shady all the way, has some climbing to strengthen little legs (250 total gain and roughly a 10% grade), and there is even a little bench sitting area on a small bridge with a nice view out to Kaneohe Bay. As with almost any hike, just keep an eye on kids near the edge of the trail as there are some decent drop-offs into shrubs and ground cover. The lower loop is .25 mi and the upper loop is .4 mi. A map and directions are at the Friendship Garden website.

Oneawa Hills

Sammy and I hiked with a great group called the Solemates. This group of about 40 hikers has been meeting every Wed to hike for about 5 years. Thanks to Tom for looking out for us at the top of each steep section, and for all those behind us who were willing to catch me 🙂 Also thanks to Nancy, Laurie and Karen for excellent conversation along the way! Note: the trail reviews I present on this site are targeted to families with young children so they can assess whether or not this would be a good hike for them to take the kids on.

Exertion scale – 4 out of 5 (some good ups and downs – 20%+ grades in some areas)
Sun exposure – 2.5 (a decent amount of shade)
Treachery – 5 (tricky footing on the steep sections, large drop-off to the quarry which might make some nervous)
Lunch spot – 3 (shady lunch spot at the last summit, but no place for kids to stretch their legs safely)

Overall opinion: interesting hike, views of the quarry that many people have not had, decent shade, difficult footing on many steep ascents and descents (loose dirt and rocks). I would NOT recommend this for people with young children due to the difficult footing.

Note: I carried Sam the entire hike this time because the terrain was too challenging for him to negotiate. For your reference, he is 2 and weighs 36 pounds. Total load on me is 50+ pounds (includes pack, water, first aid, lunch). I used both trekking poles most of the way for balance.

The trailhead is at the Friendship Garden at the top of Kokokahi Place in Kaneohe and ends at Lipalu St. The total hike length is somewhere around 3.5-4 miles. It took about 30 minutes of climbing to reach the first viewpoint, then 1.5 hrs more to reach the last summit (there are about 3 major ups and downs along the way). The final stretch downhill to Lipalu St took about an hour. Total hiking time one-way was about 3.5 hrs including a 30 minute stop for lunch. We did a shuttle since parking is difficult on Kokokahi Pl. We went through 3L of water on a warm, breezy day.

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