So I headed out early in the morning to hike the Honopu Trail. I got the trailhead at about 7:30, right after sunrise. I had done this trail before so I know where the unmarked trailhead is. When I started out it was 56 degrees, not what most people would think Hawaiian weather would be like, but I was at an elevation of around 4,100 feet.
This trail starts off in a forested maze of paths. Since the trail is unmaintained and not on any current maps you have to know about it to get to it. Some trail volunteers have placed bright colored ribbons along the trail at many of the places that you could get confused. Still, it is easily possible to get off trail if not paying attention.
The trail itself can be narrow. There are lots of downed trees and snags requiring you to crawl under or over many of them. I banged my head a couple of times on a branch I didn't see trying to get up after crawling under a tree. The ferns are brutal, and if you aren't wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt you'll get scratched. The trail through these ferns is barely 18 inches wide and the ferns can be 5 feet high making it feel like you are hiking in a plant canyon. In a couple of places, the ferns have grown completely over so you are hiking though a tunnel of sorts.
Even though it hadn't been raining, the trail was very slippery. Couple that with the steepness and you could certainly slip and fall. I use trekking pokes and find they help me immensely.
In a couple of places, you'll look at the trail and wonder how you are going to get down it.
At around 2.2 miles, you come to a lookout point after passing many other places to take pictures. I could see Honopu Valley and all the way up the Na Pali. With binoculars, I could see people on the Kalalau Trail
Tips: This trail is not family friendly. You should wear long pants and shirt, and good boots/shoes. Bring a camera and binoculars to see and record. Also bring lots of water. It's a long uphill hike back. Trekking poles will help.
Goats, pigs, and birds. I heard, but did not see apapane.