Maunawili Falls is in Kailua and was recommended by someone who lived there. It’s about a 4-5 mile (6-8 km) hike round trip. It requires you to cross a small piece of the river near the bottom and then you have to walk in the river to the waterfall once you get to the top….unless you have superb balance and rock jumping skills.
This hike can be done in tennis shoes (which most of my group did), flip flops and/or barefoot (which a friend and I did). We started out in flip flops but it was too muddy so we decided to just take them off. I had them off for most of the hike up until we got to the top and the dirt dried out and I could put them back on. I managed to make it back down with my flip flops on and clean feet by taking the side trails.
Aside from it being a very muddy hike (which our friend said he wasn’t expecting as it hadn’t rained there for a couple of days), it was a good hike. There are quite a few steep stairs so here is a warning if you have bad knees. I have bad knees though and managed to do the hike.
Also, you can swim once you get to the waterfall. The water is quite cold but you get used to it pretty quickly. It’s probably best to just jump in at once. There is that bacteria warning in the beginning of the hike though so only go swimming if you feel comfortable. I didn’t go in past my hips but that was a personal thing as I wasn’t sure how strong the current was closer to the waterfall.
If you’d like to check it out, the address to get to the beginning of the hike is 1201 Kelewina St, Kailua, HI 96734.
There is no parking lot so you just have to park somewhere in the neighborhood.