Looking for that perfect hike in Hawaii for young children? Whether you’re new to hiking with your baby or toddler, or you’re looking for a new trail to explore, the Hike it Baby community is a valuable resource for finding family hiking trails around the country. In this article, we share three beautiful hikes in Hawaii to explore with babies and young children.
Hiking with young children (under 5 years old) is different from hiking with school-age children. These three hikes in Hawaii offer families of young children beautiful trails to explore while considering the unique ways young children hike, wander, doddle and explore.
While there are thousands of trails to explore in Hawaii, our local Hike it Baby branches recommend these three hikes that are close to metro areas, accessible by all-terrain strollers and beautiful to explore with young children.
Lulumahu Falls, Honolulu, Oahu, HI
Lulumahu Falls, located not too far from Waikiki Beach, is a 2-mile out-and-back trail that is off the beaten path. The trail is tucked away off the Pali Highway and takes you through a bamboo forest, the Honolulu Water Board Supply, and the Nu’uanu Reservoir. After the reservoir, you’ll climb stone stairs and be greeted by a gorgeous view of the Koʻolau mountain range. Following that, there are several streams to cross and rocks to climb, which the kiddos will enjoy, before reaching the waterfall.
The waterfall is amazing! Pack a snack , stand under the Falls or just stand back and admire another one of Hawaii’s magical wonders. –Andrea Sauka
Please note: Lulumahu Falls is on private government property and a day-use permit is required in advance for entrance. There are no restrooms, water fountains or other amenities. Also, it’s advised to avoid the trail when it rains as it gets muddy and can be dangerous.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Sauka.
La Perouse Bay Trail, La Perouse Bay, Maui, Hawaii
La Perouse Bay Trail is a 4.6-mile trail that is part of the Hoapili Trail, which totals 12.5 miles along the southern coast of Maui. The trail begins at a horse corral and goes through lava beds that were formed two centuries ago when Haleakala last erupted in 1790. There are two routes you can choose on this trail. One travels through the lava field among lava rocks and is more toddler-friendly, though hot. The other hugs the shore and carrying a baby is advised. If you need to cut the hike short, the first sandy beach is .5 mile into the hike. There, you’ll see reef fish and sea turtles frolicking in the water. Morning is a good time for a hike as you’ll most likely spot dolphins snacking on small schools of fish for breakfast. And if you visit between November and February, you’ll see whales spouting off the coastline.
Our family loves this hike because it has everything, including several beaches to stop at, forest, shrubland and lava rock. The rock scrambling and tide pools are great and, of course, there are epic vistas of the South Shore. –Tommy Barton
Please note: Lava rock is sharp, so be careful of little walkers stumbling off the trail or venturing out onto the rocks. And try to stay on the main trail so as not to disrupt any growth in the lava rocks.
Photo courtesy of Tommy Barton.
Likeke Falls Trail, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii
Likeke Falls Trail is a 1.5-mile out-and-back trail that is easy for younger kids. The hike starts out on a little road where you’ll pass a chain link fence and pass a graffiti-covered water tank. There is a large tree carved with more graffiti half a mile up the trail with an arrow pointing in the direction of the waterfall. Then you’ll pass through a tunnel that was formed through a messy bush of trees. When the trail starts to get a little wet with water flowing on it, you’ll know you’re close to the falls, where you can splash at the end of a hot hike.
With this trail, I liked that there aren’t too many steep drop-offs to get to the waterfall, so I was more comfortable letting my son wander around on the trail. Also, it is a shorter hike but with a great reward! –Maureen Cooper
Please note: Expect some uneven footing as you get closer to the waterfall. Also, the lushness of this hike means mosquitoes are plentiful, so juice up with bug spray. You can park at the Ko’olau Golf Club near the First Presbyterian Church; however, the church asks that on Sundays hikers park after 11:30 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Maureen Cooper.
More Resources for Families with Young Children
Hawaii offers an abundance of trails for families with young children. For more family hike ideas, see:
- Hike it Baby calendar (or connect with the local branch)
- Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers – A Book by Hike it Baby Founder Shanti Hodges
- 3 Beautiful Hikes in Washington State for Young Children
- 3 Amazing Hikes for Young Children in Oregon
- First time hiking with kids? Helpful tips to get out on trail
What are your favorite hikes in Hawaii for families with babies, toddlers and young children? Leave a comment below!
Trail reviews contributed by Andrea Sauka, Tommy Barton, Maureen Cooper and Shanti Hodges.