Written By Jenna Francisco of thisismyhappiness.com
I love to hike. But honestly, it’s been a little challenging to go hiking since having kids. On our recent trip to Kauai, we were excited about being able to do some hiking at our leisure. While we didn’t have kids to slow us down, we did have to contend with a lot of rain during our stay. This meant that what could have been long day hikes turned into short treks, but they were spectacular nonetheless.
Waimea Canyon State Park
Location: Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796
Once you get to the main lookout for Waimea Canyon, you can continue up the road to another parking lot and find the Cliff Trail and Canyon Trail. Cliff Trail is a .2 mile hike to a lookout point, and then it’s a couple more miles along the Canyon Trail for those wanting more. It’s downhill on a pleasant tree-lined trail to a lookout point— and even further to the top of Waipo’o Falls (but we didn’t make it that far).
The real highlight of a visit to Waimea Canyon is the last lookout point in Koke’e State Park. To find it continue driving up the road, passed the canyon, until you reach the last stop. The view is said to be one of the best in Hawaii, but thanks to the rain and fog, we didn’t get to experience it. ?
But in a way, it was cool to see it this way, too. Rain and fog are an integral part of the geography here, and we appreciated seeing clouds hugging the cliffs and rain providing moisture for the vivid/vibrant green plants all around us.
Maha’ulepu Coastal Trail
Location: Hawaii 96756
This was my favorite walk that we did because there was something beautiful to see around every turn. This trail follows an undeveloped stretch of coast on the South Shore. It goes east from Shipwreck Beach for two miles. To find it, take the small road between the Grand Hyatt and the golf course, park at Shipwreck Beach, and look for the trail behind the large rock on the left side of the beach. There are multiple trails, and they all go the same way; we took the one on the right, closer to the rock.
One nice feature of this trail is that sometimes there are at least a couple of paths that run parallel to each other, offering an alternative route if you want some variety. Most of the hike is easy, but some of the walking right along the shore involved brief climbing, so be aware of that if you bring kids–the trail that runs parallel just a little bit inland provides a safer option for kids.