Moanalua Valley Neighborhood Park1857 Ala Aolani Street Honolulu, HI 96819
- Serene Location
- Extensive Parcourse for adults
- Parts of the playground are boarded-up and missing
- Closes earlier than most parks (7pm)
- Signs of health risks from water
- Two basketball courts
- Water fountain
- Fitness Station Par course
- Picnic Table
- Covered Pavilion
The Moanalua Valley area is a gorgeous community surrounded by mountains and separated from the hustle and bustle of urban Honolulu. It is easy enough to find, just take exit 2 off Interstate H-201 W (coming from town), take a right on Ala Aolani Street (the main road in the Moanalua Valley Community). Ala Aolani street is only a mile and a half long and ends right at the park. There is a parking lot available at the park, as well as plenty of street parking as the neighborhood is entirely residential.
Fortunately, the beauty of the area makes up for the terribly neglected playground at their neighborhood park. While the setting is serene, located at the start of the Moanalua Valley Trail, half the playground is either boarded-up, or missing.
The result is somewhat comical. There is a ladder with only one rung. There are hand rails for a bridge, but no bridge. None the less, the children still managed to have fun running around underneath what is left of the playground, and jumping up to grab railings just out of reach.
Ironically enough the fitness station par course appears to be in great shape and has a lot more equipment than any other par course I have seen on the island.
One explanation might come from the online reviews of the area, which describe Moanalua Valley as an older quiet community (emphasis on the “quiet”). Instead of closing at 10pm, like the majority of parks in Honolulu, this park closes at 7pm, and according to some of the neighbors, the gates are locked at 7 o clock on the dot and many people end up having to call the city to unlock the gate and retrieve their car. Perhaps the community is trying to a cater to a quieter crowd of hikers, and the older community, rather than have a bunch of kids or teens running around making noise.
Add that to the department of health signs warning of Leptospirosis from potentially contaminated water and mud, and you have a playground I probably will not be running back to just for my daughter’s sake. But in it the communities defense, the easter egg hunt event we attended with friends was wonderful, as were the community members present.
That said, a friend in the neighborhood said she did the Moanalua Valley Trail, also known as Kamananui Valley Road, with her infant in the baby carrier and it was not a strenuous hike. It is said to be a good trail for families, small dogs, plant lovers, and people who enjoy nature but are not necessarily looking for a difficult trail. The trail itself starts right at the top of the park, you just head up the hill next to the playground and can not miss it. One look around the area will tell you that the views and plant life on the hike should be stunning. In short, Moanalua Valley Neighborhood Park is a fine park for the community, but not necessarily one you would travel out of your way for, unless you are a hiker looking to take advantage of their fitness par course.