Yesterday Pat and I both had the day off. My charter customers arrived on the weekend and one of them had a nasty cold so we rescheduled for later in the week. Pat and I decided to head on up to Hawi and Pololu Valley. I'd been itching to try a hike, and this one is in the moderate to moderately difficult range (for us 50 year old flabby guys anyway) and is probably a smarter one to start on than doing the Captain Cook Monument trail right off the bat.
The Pololu Valley overlook is on the north end of the west side of the Big Island. From the overlook you can hike down a trail that's roughly 3/4ths of a mile long, by my guess, and about a 500 foot elevation change. The trail is reasonably steep, with several cutbacks and consists mostly of rock and packed dirt. It took maybe 15-20 minutes in each direction for us... although Pat beat me to the top by a good minute or two... I'm still working on this fit by 50 thing... gotta turn it to fit while 50 now that the birthday's passed.
I consider this to be a high reward short hike, worth a little huffing and puffing on the way back up. There's a beach at the bottom as well as the view of the valley and some tremendous views on the way down the trail. It was blowing a pretty good gale yesterday, maybe a constant 25-30 or so, and was overcast, so it was actually pretty comfortable for hiking.