This trail located in Kailua offers amazing views of Oahu and also has some WWII history. High above the neighborhood of Kailua, Oahu, Hawai’i better known as “Lanikai” lies a trail that the locals like to call as “Pillboxes”. It is a group of three battlements along Ka’iwa Ridge.
Most people park their cars along the narrow roads in this upscale neighborhood and make their way up the very steep trail-head. The tail is approximately 1 mile long although you can go farther past the last Pillbox to around the ridge back into the Lanikai neighborhood but the trail is much steeper and has loose footings.
I think people mostly come for the view along with the exercise. From here, you can see Lanikai Beach, which is world famous for its sand. You can see Kaneohe Marine Corps Base and Kailua Beach, which are both favorite places of President Obama whenever he’s spending his vacation in Hawai’i. Inland, there is the Enchanted Lakes region with the Ko’olau Mountains at the back. And to the east, you can see Waimanalo Beach and the old WWII airfield of Bellows AFB.
During World War II, soldiers climbed this ridge to vigilantly crawl into these small concrete bunkers to keep a vigilant watch over the coast for enemy ships and aircraft. There are still a few other sites on the island of Oahu where they remain.
If you do decide to take the hike, come in with few vehicles as possible as parking is limited, wear very good shoes, bring water because there are no public facilities, and leave your fear of heights. During my last trip there, I saw a girl having a dizzy spell from the heights.
These photos were taken with a Diana F+ and Splitzer, Holga 120WPC, and a Polaroid 6300Z.
More information on the hike can be found here.
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