Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ROAD TRIP: Hiking in Kauai; Kuilau Trailhead 2.1 Miles; an easy day hike from Lihue

Views of the foliage and mountains along the trail
 As much as I love to hike and travel, I don't have unlimited money or time to do so as much as I'd ultimately like to.  And I began to consider having guest bloggers who can write about hikes and trails in an area they have been; so that more content can be added to my blog, and maybe by chance, you are going to one of these places and want to know where to hike. 
Recently, my parents spent two weeks traveling around Hawaii, (lucky!) since my father is an avid hiker, I asked him to review some trails that he visited.  Unfortunately, he pulled a muscle in his leg and only hiked once; on Kauai.  Here is his trail report and the two photos he took on this hike. 
Directions: To reach the trailhead take Highway 580 (Kuamo’o Road) from Wailua for 7 miles until you reach Keahua Arboretum. There is a spillway across the road and parking for the Arboretum. The trail starts about 100 yards before the Arboretum.
SpecsKauai Hiking: Kuilau Trailhead  2.1 Miles; The trail is easy to moderate.  The trail takes you uphill to a small picnic area about 1.5 miles up. One picnic table is available and there is parking for 15 cars at the trail headClick here for more information on this trailhead and here for another site with info as well. 
Trailhead is a short walk up the road from parking area.  It is gated so that 4Wheel drives cannot access the trail.  The trail can get muddy after or during a rain and can be quite slippery. Kauai is considered the Garden Island of Hawaii and it rains every day in the mountains.
Looking down at a waterfall below
Views of lush mountainsides and scenery back to the ocean in some locations.  Views of mountain range when not cloudy or foggy. 
After picnic area, trail continues past a small waterfall.  There is at least one switchback that goes up and the trail ends at a footbridge going over a small creek.  From that point, it joins the Moalepe Trail and goes down, continuing for another 2 miles, stopping at a State park.
It was a Sunday and hunting season while we were hiking.  We came across several men and boys, most likely a family.  They had several dogs with them and had just gotten on the trail from a deep valley coming up through the deep brush.  One man was carrying a 100 pound wild boar that he had just shot.  The man was willing to speak to us and allowed us to take his picture with the boar on his back, carrying it like it was a back pack.  This was certainly a highlight of the hike.
This trail was a good diversion for a two hour hike that was easily accessible from our stay at the Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue.

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