I knew I wanted to hike on Lanai, but there aren't too many designated trails. I wasn't going to let that stop me, though.
There are a couple short trails near the Four Seasons resort. One of them climbs up to a viewpoint called Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock). Named after a Hawaiian legend about two star-crossed lovers, it is a short trip that I didn't really consider hiking, since I did it in flip flops. It was so beautiful though that I walked up here a couple of times.
For a longer hike, I headed for the Munro Trail. It's really a single track dirt road, but the jeep rental companies won't let you drive up there anymore because they got tired of people getting stuck. It's steep, winding and muddy. Locals still drive it, and I ran into a worker checking cat traps. But it was mostly deserted, and wanders through the rainforest to the highest point on the island. It was 13 miles round trip, plus a side trip that made it about two miles longer.
The side trail off this road leads to a viewpoint where on a clear day you can see six Hawaiian islands and the deepest valley on the island. I also ran to this point as a trail run one day. I saw nobody except a wild sheep.
There's plenty of beach walking to be had. Shipwreck Beach is 6 miles long and you could walk the whole thing and not see anyone.
I also hiked by accident on my last day on Lanai. Having been told that it was probably too muddy to drive to Garden of the Gods, but to "go try it, but don't drive through the big puddles," by the person I rented the jeep from, I set out optimistically, only to be stopped by a muddy mess about a mile and a half from my destination. I knew the jeep could make it, but the rental places are used to city folk who have never used four wheel drive, so they are cautious. I decided to walk the rest of the way on the single track road.
Some jeeps merrily passed me and I briefly regretted my decision, but it was a beautiful day, and I was about to get on a plane for six hours, so why not walk? The end result was worth it.
You won't find manicured paths with lots of trail signs on Lanai. You also won't find hordes of other hikers. And if you're a little bit adventurous and seek out places to hike, there's beautiful views around every corner.