Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pearl Harbor Historic Trail

Pearl Harbor Historic Trail is a partially-existing heritage and recreational corridor that has the goal of establishing an 18+ mile multi-use recreational trail that will highlight historic sites from the USS Arizona Memorial to the west coast Oʻahu community of Nānākuli.

The full Pearl Harbor Historic Trail is still only an idea, but there is already a multi-use trail from the Arizona Memorial parking lot to Waipi'o Point Access Road.  The path is intended to be improved as part of the historic trail project.

The long-range Master Plan (prepared in 2001) stemmed from the Aiea-Pearl City Community Vision Group’s Year 2000 project.

The Pearl Harbor Historic Trail is a vital element in the Aiea-Pearl City Livable Communities Plan as its proposed projects for the area are integrated into the Plan.

The former Oahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L) right-of-way is the foundation upon which the proposed Pearl Harbor Historic Trail will be built.

A key project of the Master Plan is the re-establishment of the historic railway operation for the entire 18+ miles of the Trail.

The Hawaiian Railway Society (HRS) currently operates a six-mile long narrated railway train tour between its Ewa station museum and Kahe Tracks Beach Park in Nanakuli.

The Community Vision Group saw the 40-foot wide OR&L right-of-way as a valuable asset within their community that had the potential to meet a number of community needs such as safe bicycle and pedestrian paths, a natural and historic preservation project, a recreation resource, a means of opening up shoreline access, and an opportunity for economic revitalization.

The Master Plan incorporates a combination shared-use path and railway that includes major components, attractions and activity centers that will establish the Trail as a world-class heritage and recreation corridor.

The Trail will feature a continuous path for bicyclists and pedestrians alongside an historic train, diverging from the OR&L right-of-way where advantageous to take in shoreline views.

Miles of greenway and bikeway connections and gateways to the path are proposed, enhancing access to nearby communities and attractions. 

A few years ago, Nelia and I biked from Aiea Bay State Recreation Area, first to the Arizona Memorial side, then to Waipiʻo Peninsula along the existing portion of the trail.

At that time, it was in generally good condition; it is used daily by bikers, joggers and walkers.  There are great views of Pearl Harbor, as well as other odds and ends along the way.

The image shows the general route of the bike path; I have also included some photos of the bike trip we took a few years ago on the trail in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.

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