Saturday, February 12, 2011

Overlook in Dien

Location: Kitti
Difficulty: Easy or Moderate
Length: Varies
Cost: $5 for guide (if desired)
Watch out for: Pakin atoll on the horizon

Description: This hike takes you up to a grassy field, from which you can see Black Coral, Anhd, and (if you're lucky), Pakin. The hike follows a relatively easy path up to a grassy point - rather unusual terrain for Pohnpei. If you pack a picnic lunch, it's an easy half-hour walk to the vantage point. If you want more of a workout, continue on through the jungle and climb higher. Your guide can take you through the forest to other grassy points, and the path is relatively clear. It will be steeper and more difficult the higher you climb, earning a moderate rating if you continue on more than an hour.

Directions: Coming from Kolonia, head toward Palikir. Continue past COM-FSM into Dien (close to the boundary of Sokehs and Kitti). Pass the pink house, and turn left at the next road to find the Dien church. Park there, and follow the trail up. If you'd like a guide, call Simon's Market and ask for Eddie.

**With great thanks to Huyen Reynolds for the photos!**

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nett Point

Location: Nett
Difficulty: Easy
Length: Varies
Cost: None
Watch out for: Nasty water on the right of the pier

Description: Nett Point is a popular place to picnic and swim, and can be a great walk if you're looking for an easier stroll. The hike can either be an out-and-back route along one of the two roads that leads to the point, or can be taken as a longer loop trail. Alternatively, you can also drive to the point if you're looking for more of a picnic or swim site than a workout. When you're at the point, swim to the left side where the water is cleaner.

Directions: Coming from Kolonia, head toward Nett/Madolenihmw. Just after crossing the bridge, turn left and follow this road out to the point. The second road that leads to the point will meet up with the first one close to the end. If you follow the 'back road' back from Nett Point, it will take you farther down the island road. When you get to the island road from the back road, just turn right to find your way back to the bridge and to Kolonia.

**With great thanks to Ecky and Sam Upritchard for the photos!**

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Location: Nett
Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 3 hours
Cost: $3/person for the guide
Watch out for: Lots of loose rocks at the top, lots of sakau along the trail

Description: This is an uncommon hike up to some stunning rocks in Nett. The area features small waterfalls and WWII guns, as well as the rock face and cave outlook pictured. The path scrambles up through overgrown jungle before reaching an open rocky base of a tall but thin waterfall.

If desired, you can continue a small portion longer (through the waterfall and over treacherous footing - be careful) to find a bat cave. If you pass through the bat cave you'll find an amazing view of Kolonia and Sokeh's Rock.

Directions: Arrange for a guide with Rico Rico (922-1596), and meet up with him somewhere in Nett. Take the road out of Kolonia towards Awak, but turn right at the Nett government building - the road just before the bridge.

Pahn Sile

Location: Madolenihmw
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Length: 1 hour round trip, not including swimming
Cost: $50 total (1-11 people), $75 total (12-20 people)
Watch out for: Slick footing during and next to river crossings, rocks under the waterfall

Description: This is a nice, short hike to a beautiful waterfall. The trail is relatively simple, and only earns the moderate addition for one small stream crossing over a log, and a couple river crossings. Your feet will get wet, so choose shoes accordingly.

There is a large pool for swimming, and the chance to scramble a bit on the rocks to the right. There are sizable rocks under the fall, though, so use caution if jumping in.

Directions: You can arrange for a guide by calling Joseph Rosario (work: Parks and Tourism Office, home 320-6434). He will meet you across from the new Mormon church in Madolenihmw and drive the rest with you. You will turn to the right and follow a dirt road until the end before starting the hike. If possible, I suggest parking earlier on the road and walking a bit - the road can be very rough in patches, and a longer hike may be desirable.

Six Waterfalls

Location: Kitti
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 5-7 hours
Cost: $20/person if five or more, more for smaller groups
Watch out for: Too much rain can make parts of hike impossible. Be careful of flash floods.

Description: This is a long, beautiful hike through the waterfalls of Salapwuk, Kitti. The trail is like a teardrop in shape, so you'll start and end on the same path, but have a circular route in the middle. The path is often very muddy and rocky, and involves wading through rivers. You will get very wet, so choose shoes carefully and protect valuables in waterproof bags.

There are six waterfalls to see, each spectacular. You can swim and dive in most of them, and your guides will give you plenty of time to enjoy each. After reaching the first fall, you'll find that two and three are close by. A short hike will eventually bring you to four and five. Getting to the last waterfall requires a swim upstream. If you want your bag with you, your obliging guide will bring it for you along a more difficult, but dry route.

Heading back, you will likely climb up, up up, until returning to the path where you started.

Directions: You'll need to arrange for a guide. You can contact the Peace Corps volunteer in Salapwuk, or call the Peace Corps office at 320-2531 and speak to Kikulynn Hebel. To get to the start of the hike, take the Island Circle road towards Kitti. Just after the very terraced house and before you get to the turn for the Nahlap dock, turn left at the street pictured below. Follow this road until it turns to dirt, and park on the right side of the road. Continue along the dirt road until you reach the elementary school, and you will meet your guides there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Location: U
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 5 hours+
Cost: $5 for guide
Watch out for: Sheer drops at viewpoints

Description: This hike follows a well travelled path up to the top of the mountain above Pahn Tikai. It's a high peak and offers spectacular views, several WWII bunkers and guns, and beautiful mossy growth. Its a long hike, but isn't terribly technical. There are a few steep points, but most of the path follows the old 'road' used to move equipment to the top during the war. Along the way there are many points of interest, including a meadow, an overlook of Nett, a communication pipe, a crater left behind by an Allied strike, an overlook of the two islands of U, and an overlook of Madolenihmw.

You can arrange a guide through the Conservation Society of Pohnpei by calling their office.

Directions: Leaving Kolonia town, take the island circle road towards Madolenihmw. The hike should start somewhere between the Catholic church on the right at the road leading to Pahn Tikai. Arrange a meeting place with your guide and he will show you where to park.

Sokeh's Ridge (Pohndollap)

Location: Sokeh's Island
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 1.5 hours, not including exploring
Cost: None
Watch out for: Dogs on the road and slick rocks

: The ridge is a very convenient hike for people in Kolonia. It's walkable from anywhere in town and offers both a good workout and a good view. You'll walk along a paved road, then along a dirt road, and come to a first scenic overlook. This is a good place to stop if you're looking for a very easy trip, but if you continue up up up you'll have even better views.

Following the steep section after the first overlook, the trail will head to your right, becoming very flat for a while. If you walk straight past a small building instead of following the trail to the right, there are at least two WWII-era guns and bunkers to visit. Following the trail will lead you to a final steep push, at the end of which you'll find a weather station platform and a nice view of Kolonia town and the airport.

Directions: Heading out of Kolonia towards Palikir, stay straight after the Rusty Anchor to cross onto Sokeh's Island. The trail to the ridge is up the road going straight - don't turn left or right at the intersection. You can park at the community center just to your right after the intersection or drive up as far as you like. Be sure to ask if parking in front of someone's house is ok.