Compared to the last hike Chase and I did, this trail was far from overgrown. The trail is wide, well-groomed, and in good shape. The beginning portion of the hike starts on an open ridge that soon passes a covered picnic table. Just past the picnic table is where the hiking really begins. The trail starts it rollercoastering, and there are three steep climbs before reaching the helipad, with the first climb being the longest. Just before the helipad, the trail becomes muddy. There are a few steep and rutted sections that have ropes anchored to trees for assistance. Other than that the hike is pretty easy, but that's only to the helipad.
From the grassy helipad I could see the Ko'olau Summit in the distance, and the summit was far -- really far away. The ridge looked steeper with more ups and downs until topping out at the summit. I could also see a ridge on the left; I think that might be the Iliahi Ridge Trail, another trail I have yet to hike. The Manana Ridge Trail is six miles to the Ko'olau Summit; this means the total mileage of this hike is twelve miles. The last time I did a twelve mile hike was the nine-and-a-half-hour Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe Trail, and my body was hurting for three days straight thereafter. That's exactly how I'll probably feel next weekend when I try Manana Ridge in its entirety. Hopefully the weather cooperates like it did today.
This trail also leads to Waimano Falls. The trail forks, and the Manana Ridge is the left fork; Waimano Falls is the right fork.