Probably one of the coolest and not so well known Big Island hikes is going to Narnia. (No Hawaiian or common name was known for this hiking spot). Located on the east side of the island just above Hilo and the Boiling pots park, the hike to Narnia is spectacular with 5 waterfalls converging into one beautiful lookout point and swimming spot.
Hiking to Narnia above Hilo
Starting your hike to Narnia in East Hawaii
The hike is not so well marked and not noted of Big Island hikes and the broad name of Narnia has no historic references to the area. But that isn’t necessary since the hike experience makes this all worthwhile and is a relatively easy spot to get to above Hilo.
There are no trail markers and the small parking area is located about a mile down from the Boiling pots parking lot. If you go further uphill from Boiling pots on the main road, Wainuenue, you’ll find some parking spots on the left side of the road (don’t pass the bridge passing through the Wailuku river or you’ve passed the parking area)
From the parking area, head uphill on the fire road to the end and a the T is a small trail on the right side that goes uphill. Go take that small trail which will eventually merge into the fire road and you go left and you continue uphill.
** you can also take a 2nd route from the parking area and go down Wainuenue road through this neighborhood and when you see the first small paved road (on the left side) going uphill through this neighborhood which eventually becomes a fire road heading up through the area and to Narnia.
Continue about a mile uphill on the fire road which has a slight slope but is relatively easy to do. Once you approach a very large catchment water tank on the left side, you will see a trail on the right side going through some tall trees. Head right in that direction all the way to the end and you will eventually get to the main vantage point at Narnia.
Turn right at the large water tank
From here, you can walk the shorter trails for different viewpoints of the waterfalls and reservoir. There are some access to the water for swimming in the reservoir (please do not go into the water on rainy days when the water flow is rushing and unpredictable – it is very dangerious) which is perfect on sunny days when the water is calm. You can actually swim to a few of the waterfalls directly against the water flow which is a challenge and a fun work out.
More views of the Narnia pools
Beautiful ferns and fern grottos are everywhere along the waterfalls and shady areas.
A Fun Video Highlight to Narnia
Extended hike from Narnia
If you want to extend your hike, you can also hike to the main dam and reservoir which is about a 3 mile uphill walk on the main fire road. You will eventually see the river and dam area and reservoir. If the water is calm, you definitely can get in below the dam area for swimming. Or you can walk across the dam and follow a small trail to where the canyon areas of the Wainuenue river pass through which is quite spectacular to explore.
Returning back to parking area
The hike back is easy and you will get nice views back into Hilo area. You can actually take the fire road directly down to Wainuenue and turn right to walk back to the small parking area.
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