My Favorite Easy Hikes for Beginners

One of my favorite easy hikes

I don’t think I’ve mentioned at all that I’ve been walking and hiking a lot over the past few months (sarcasm—it’s all I talk about, see here) and hiking is probably my favorite moderately difficult activity for weekends! When Baylor isn’t playing a game or I can’t bear to watch our debilitated offense any longer on Saturdays, I’ll drag Brandon or Conor and Parker on one of our favorite easy hikes to amp up my cardio without repeating my regular walking route. Easy hikes are ideal for weekends as well because there’s usually a beautiful view at the end and I tend to burn calories a little quicker depending on the slope and distance! I’ve gone on many different hikes over the past several years and while some of them were scary and difficult and I’d never go again, these five are my tried and true favorite easy hikes for beginners like me!

Makiki Valley Loop Trail

Megan introduced this trail to me and although it doesn’t have the most scenic view in the middle, the length and moderate difficulty makes it one of my new favorite easy hikes. The route is approximately 3.8 miles depending on where the hiker parks and it’s mostly covered with trees, so the shade makes the distance manageable. Much of the loop is fairly steep and I recommend going clockwise to get more cardio in!

Makapuʻu Lighthouse Trail

Makapuʻu is an entirely paved path that’s extremely popular as the tidepools and Alan Davis are on the way. The trail runs for 2.5 miles and is best done in the early morning as hikers can get easily burned due to intense sun bouncing off of the asphalt. This hike is perfect for all ages as there is literally no sketchy part or risk of injury.

Lanikai Pillboxes

Probably the most popular of the pillbox hikes and one of the easiest ones, Lanikai is probably discovered by most people on Instagram as it has a full view of Kailua and Kāneʻohe. The beginning part prior to the start of the 2 mile trail gets slippery because there’s so much dry dust, but the hike itself isn’t strenuous at all.

Ehukai Pillboxes

In contrast, Ehukai has a few fairly hard parts including the stair section, which feels like going up a StairMaster. The best part of the hike is making it to the second pillbox where the real view is. The hike is about 2.3 miles and the majority goes straight up the mountain, but doesn’t feel like it’s breaking your knees. There are lots of trees on this trail as well, so the risk of sunburn isn’t as great as with Makapuʻu or Lanikai.

Puʻu Pia

The last of my favorite easy hikes is Puʻu Pia in Mānoa. This 2 mile hike is almost completely covered by trees and ferns and other types of foliage, which makes it easy to complete. I wouldn’t recommend walking during or after a big rain (which is happening almost constantly in Mānoa) because it can get quite slippery going up and down, so a nice overcast day would be the perfect conditions.