Concerns could lead to closure of Lanikai Pillbox trail

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The Lanikai Pillbox hike on Kaiwa Ridge was once a sleepy neighborhood trail, but it’s not so secret anymore.

“I live here and I have to say over the past year it’s gotten really bad. It’s actually quite dangerous,” Lanikai resident Kathy Grindle said.

On busy days, her neighbor has counted 200 hikers an hour.

“The trail has eroded so much you can see the mud right here where it washes down and goes to the ocean,” Grindle said.

Parking is also an issue. The community association put up these no parking signs recently, while others have had to resort to posting their own signs.

Another complaint is the graffiti covering the World War II Bunkers.

“It’s more trying to get people to value things so they don’t do that, it’s a sign of disrespect,” Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife branch manager David Smith said.

The DLNR says damaging any state structure is a criminal offense. Anyone caught face fines from $100 to $500.

“There’s a lot of vandalism, drug use at the top, erosion, tons of people getting rescued and that’s happening on a daily basis,” State Rep. Chris Lee said.

KHON2 asked the DLNR what’s the solution? One option is to take an extreme approach.

“Extreme options I guess would be to close it all together,” Smith said.

“I didn’t hear that. That would be ridiculous because there are so many people who go on it,” Kaneohe resident Nicole Bell said.

Hikers hate that idea. In fact, so do some residents.

“Well I’d hate to see that happen. I hike up there,” Grindle said.

Community leaders called a meeting Wednesday night to go over their options.

“Right now, the state is looking to do mitigation work to secure this mountain side so that it’s safe,” Rep. Lee said.

A plan for the erosion work and other traffic solutions will be presented to the community in a month.


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