Having read about the relatively recently cleared trail up Manoa Middle ridge we decided to make the best of the rain and check it out. One benefit to the downpour was the mosquitoes were knocked out of the sky for a while.
The start of the trail is easy to find, heading uphill to the left along the Waiakeakua Falls trail. After climbing a series of concrete steps and crossing the stream, the Manoa Middle trail heads on uphill, while the trail to the falls goes right. There is another route through some bamboo which starts very early on the right side of the Falls trail. We took that route on the way back. It’s a much more gradual climb and descent than the one after the stairs, which was quite welcome since I’d had problems with low blood pressure most of the hike.***
The trail looks like it’s getting a reasonable amount of traffic so is staying well cleared. Unlike almost every other trail up to the Koolau Summit Trail, Manoa Middle has almost no downhill sections and is relatively short so if the goal is to get to the KST without a lot of monkeying around it’s a good choice. The downside is there’s little opportunity to amble along and rest up.
***Do as I say, not as I do. I in no way recommend hiking when you are experiencing medical problems of any sort. Stay in bed and do some horizontal cross training if you need exercise.