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Honolulu Councilmember Seeks Parking Ban During Maunawili Falls Trail Repairs

Maunawili Falls Closure.jpeg
Department of Land and Natural Resources
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The state plans to close Maunawili Falls Trails near Kailua starting July 15, 2021, so it and a private landowner can preserve historic and cultural sites.

A Honolulu City Councilmember is proposing banning unpermitted parking in Maunawili on Oʻahu while the state closes the popular waterfall trail nearby for two years to conduct repairs.

The state plans to close Maunawili Falls Trails near Kailua starting Thursday so it and a private landowner can preserve historic and cultural sites. It also plans to build parking and comfort stations.

The trail takes hikers through a lush forest to a waterfall. As the trail has grown in popularity, neighbors say they have struggled with hikers parking illegally and trespassing as well as urinating in their yards and leaving behind dirty diapers.

Chris Nakamatu of the Maunawili Estates Community Association said about 1,000 people use the trail on the weekends.

City Councilmember Esther Kiaʻāina, who represents the area, said she doesn’t expect people to stop coming when the trail closes. So she’s calling for a ban on unpermitted parking in the neighborhood during the closure.

The city already restricts parking for those without permits in a Kalihi neighborhood, she said.

“I think that this is the best way to balance the community’s needs with those that are trespassing,” Kiaʻāina said.

Neighbors say they support measures to control the crowds and revive the trail.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said hikers will still be able to visit the waterfall 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.

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