Now, where was I? Oh yes, running up and down the Kam (otherwise known as the Kamehameha Highway). Well, enough of that. Doing a circle through a park along the road, I spotted a path along Pearl Harbor, saving me from yet another run waiting for stoplights to change.
(Above map from Alltrails.com) This is an everyperson’s bike path, bordered by the harbor.
and also bordered by industrial buildings, some upscale condos, a few traditional gardens, and a homeless camp or two.
A number of cyclists use the trail as a commuter route, wide-hatted retirees take their morning walks, runners like myself use it to avoid all the congestion and stoplights on the Kam which runs parallel to the path a good deal of this stretch.
If you find yourself in the Pearl Harbor, Aiea area looking for a running route, here is what you might see along the Pearl Harbor Bike Path.
This huge Island Energy plant borders both sides of the road. Industrial vehicles sometimes move back and forth across the path, but always with loud warnings.
Within a half mile or so, the path changes from the industrial to the pastoral as a taro farm comes into view.
Sidenote: The taro plant is a root vegetable that can be prepared a number of ways. It is also known to contain lots of nutritious stuff. The dish I am most familiar with becomes a creamy substance called poi. (The Taste of Home blog has a mouth-watering article on poi.) If you go to a local restaurant in Hawaii, you will find it on the menu.
I’ve found that bike paths require a certain amount of prudence, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the area. With the Pearl Harbor Bike Path, I felt comfortable, but I did like that there were egress points, frequent parks and parking lots where I could divert from the path and return to the street to run if I chose.
I have run bike paths in many different areas in my travels and they all have their quirks and charms. This is the first that combined views of industrial sites, a taro farm, and a major World War II remembrance. A review in a Hawaii Magazine article more than a decade earlier still holds true, the path is “not always pretty but definitely interesting.”
Where do you find to run when you are traveling? How do you learn where the best running routes are located?