For the past three weeks, I have been on independent study while vacationing in Hawaii. This is part one of a three part series on some things I experienced in Hawaii.
Although no longer a secret, Secret Falls still holds the allure of a hidden waterfall. Also known as Uluwehi Falls, the water cascades over 100 feet into a large pool of water. To get to the waterfall, kayaks or canoes are taken 45 minutes up-stream. Then, paddlers must negotiate under, around, and between tree branches and rocks before arriving at a small rocky shore.
A trailhead exists on the edge of the river, which leads to the waterfall. The hike is not for the faint of heart, as the path weaves through the rainforest. The ground is often very muddy and slippery.
Half way down the path hikers can find vines which are strong enough to support a person. Around the waterfall are many rocks which are perfect to eat lunch on and relax. Old taro fields create interesting semicircles and are considered sacred. More adventurous people can swim under the waterfall, although it is not comfortable because of the great distance the water falls. The reason the waterfall is called Secret Falls is very old. Hawaiian kings would come to the falls and bathe in the water, spreading their mana, or life energy, into the river. Hawaiians believed that the king’s mana spread through the water to all the plants and animals the river touched. Too keep the island healthy and pure, only the king was allowed in, hence why the waterfall is secret.