Best Oahu Hikes to Find Tropical Fruit – How and When to Find Them

Manoa Falls – Mountain Apples:

Season: Late summer-early fall

Going on the Manoa Falls hike, you’ll find multiple areas that have mountain apple trees. If it is in season, you’ll see red fruit on the ground and you’ll just have to shake the trees to knock down the ripe ones off the tree. It’s best to have a friend there to try to catch them before they hit the ground, as they bruise and open quite easily. Otherwise, just find the ones that land in a nice soft spot, or pick around where there are bad spots.

Ka’au Crater – Mangos:

Season: Midsummer to early fall

The Ka’au Crater hike has mangos right at the beginning of the hike. As soon as you descend into the valley, you’ll find a few mango trees. Just make sure that it is not in someone’s yard, but if the mangos have fallen on to the street, they are fair game. The mangos tend to come out during the summer months, but it could be earlier or later depending on the tree and how the season went. As an added bonus there are mountain apples, like the ones found on the Manoa Falls hike, midway through the trail when you’re still in the valley before hitting the waterfalls.

Lanikai Pillboxes – Dragon Fruit:

Season: Summer to fall Months

The Lanikai Pillboxes hike is known for it’s beautiful sunrises and views of crystal clear water during the day, but lesser known fact about this hike is that it is home to the plant that produces dragon fruit, and if you’re lucky you’ll find a fully grown dragon fruit ready for the picking.

 Now, I say this with some pause, because the climate for the dragon fruit plants isn’t optimal on this hot and dry hike, but during the summer to fall months, after lots of rain, you can find dragon fruit off the cactus plants. They are rare to find, but you’ll likely see at least one or two small ones. If the plant has gotten lots of rain lately, you’ll see some larger ones. And most importantly, you’ll probably pass the plant during the whole hike, but it is a long green cacti. Here are the images.

Tantalus Hikes – Avocados and Mangos:

Season: Summer to fall Months

On the trails of Tantalus, there are many hikes, which have stunning views of Manoa and Pauoa valley. They all start to intersect and create a web of trails. You could even use the one that leads from Manoa Falls up or down to Tantalus mountain. On many of these trails and on the drive up, you’ll see avocados and mangos. This is a special treat during the summer and autumn months. I recommend staying on the Pauoa side of the mountain if you want the best chance at snagging some fruit.

Wiliwilinui Hike – Strawberry Guava:

Season: Essentially year round

One of the easier hikes on the island, Wiliwilinui hike offers a stunning ridge and summit trail that goes through many types of forest. A large portion of the trail, near the bottom of the start, holds a huge strawberry guava forest. You can find hundreds, if not thousands of trees, filled with these berries. The dark red berries are ready to eat, while those that still have just a shade of green to them will be more tart, but still edible. Collect them in a bag and make a jam or smoothie with it later. 

So I hope you find some fruits on some trails. Be sure to look out for some, even on the shorter hikes too. You never know what you might find. And if you have any other trails with fruits on them, let me know!

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