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Pearl Harbor Bike Path offers unique view of Oahu port and its shoreline

A bridge on the Pearl Harbor Bike Path.

Never mind asking where it starts and ends, ask even longtime Oahu residents about the existence of the Pearl Harbor Bike Path and you might get some quizzical looks. And that’s OK.

Most don’t realize there’s a great bike path that runs from the Aiea Bay State Recreation Area, just a few hundred yards north of the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center parking lot, to the town of Waipahu, much of it along Pearl Harbor shoreline.

But it’s there, and definitely an Oahu hidden gem for biking, jogging or walking enthusiasts.

I had first heard about the Pearl Harbor Bike Path as a reporter covering the area for a major Oahu daily newspaper. In 2001, community groups and the City & County of Honolulu drew up a master plan for a multi-use Pearl Harbor Historic Trail shoreline path that would run 18.6 miles from Halawa Landing, near the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, to the town of Nanakuli on Oahu’s leeward coast.

The goal was to reinvigorate communities along the route, upgrade the existing shoreline path, enhance and preserve the area environment, and create economic opportunities for area businesses. It was even hoped that the revitalization would lead to the reopening of the Oahu Railway & Land Co.’s right-of-way, offering visitors train rides along the Ewa and Leeward Oahu coastline, stopping at various shops and eateries that would spring up along the route.

The shoreline bike path opens in several spots to panoramic views of Pearl Harbor.

It was a great goal. But it was also expensive and never a high-priority project for the City and County of Honolulu. All that became of the plan was, basically, an improvement of the existing 10-mile paved shoreline bike path from Halawa Landing to Waipahu, which now comprises the Pearl Harbor Bike Path

Recently, I decided to finally check out the path for myself on bikes. We decided to start our ride at Neal S. Blaisdell Park, a couple of miles west of Aiea Bay State Recreation Area. The shoreline park, with a lovely view of Pearl Harbor, has ample parking and restrooms and seemed the best place to start pedaling toward Waipahu.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Pearl Harbor Historic Sites launching new tours of World War II monuments, museums
Scenes from Pearl Harbor Day's 70th anniversary ceremonies on Oahu
Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Missouri Memorial closing for repairs until January 2010

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