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Kauai Bike Path


July 7th, 2012

1.5 miles
40 vertical feet
Total Time: 0:46

Starting elevation
10 feet
Max elevation
93 feet

Rating: 5/10

Directions: From Kapa'a, drive north along the highway, then turn right into the Kealia Beach parking lot. If you're most interested in seeing Kealia Point, park as far south in the parking lot as you can (it is quite a long parking lot).   View Driving Map

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GPX File

Since we were getting a late afternoon start, I looked in my hiking book for something short and easy. I found it in the form of a 2-mile out and back to Kealia Point. Since the book I had was a bit dated (2006), I looked it up on the web. I found that a bike path had been built over the same route as the hike, back in 2009. That would make it even easier.

So, instead of parking south of the hike, like the book recommended, I simply parked north of it, at Kealia Beach. One word of warning - the parking lot is quite long. The beach access is mostly at the far northern end, while the point is toward the southern end. If I had parked all the way at the end, I would have saved myself about a quarter mile in each direction.

The first thing you'll notice from the parking lot is the power of the waves. There are warning signs everywhere about the dangers of the water, but for us no warning signs were needed - it was quite evident that the water was dangerous. Wave after powerful wave crashed onto the long beach. We walked all along the beach, then past the far end of the parking lot. The trail crosses the Kapa'a Stream over a bridge, then soon reaches Kealia Point. There are picnic tables every so often if you're inclined to bring a lunch.

Looking south along the beach

Looking north along the beach

A mass of the point was carved out (presumably for the bike path). There are fences on either side as you walk through this section, presumably to keep falling rocks from encroaching on the path. The point itself can be accessed via a dirt trail at the southern end of the fence. It's an easy walk up to the point, and out toward the ocean. You're rewarded with nice views up and down the coast, and of the waves crashing powerfully onto the partly submerged triangular point below.

View south of Kealia Point

View from Kealia Point

View of Kealia Beach from the point

After enjoying the views, we continued along the path just a little further. A sign mentioned the presence of monk seals (and warned not to approach them). At that point, we decided to turn around and head back. It didn't look like the views would be any better the rest of the way.

Waves crashing south of Kealia Point

Since we hiked on a bike path, I should probably bring up the point that we did see a few bicyclists, but none of them were wearing helmets. In fact, the entire time I was in Hawaii, I don't think I saw a single person on a bicycle wearing a helmet. This bugs me to no end. It was as if there's a law *against* wearing bicycle helmets in Hawaii. In fact, Hawaii does have a law that anyone under 16 has to wear a helmet. Based on what I saw, I doubt the law's effectiveness considering none of the adults wear them.

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