The Coconut Coast features some of Kauai’s most Accessible Trails
Kauai’s east side offers some of Kauai’s best hiking for all ages and skill levels. The most accessible trails are around Mount Nounou, more commonly known as “Sleeping Giant” due to its easily identifiable shape. Legend has it that there once was a giant living among the ancient peoples. He helped build heiau, Hawaiian temples or ceremonial grounds, and was loved by the Hawaiians. After the giant completed a project the village had a luau, or party, in his honor. It is said that the giant ate so much; he lay down and has yet to wake up.
Kauai’s east side offers some of Kauai’s best hiking for all ages and skill levels.
There are several trails along “Sleeping Giant”, offering different lengths and strengths depending on what you would like to do. Many offer incredible views into the interior of Kauai, untouched mountains, valleys, and tropical rain-forests. The Kuamo’o Trail, and Nounou West and East Trails are about two miles long, and they join together near the top. The Kuamo’o Trail is much easier, while the Nounou West and East Trails can be a little tricky with steep inclines. But no matter which route you take you will be rewarded with excellent views when you reach the peak.
Since it is all protected land, the forests and jungles in the area are breathtaking. The Kuilau and Moalepe Trails are both excellent options to explore the area. They are approximately 2 miles and are open for pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians. The Kuilau Trail begins near the Keahua Forestry Arboretum and continues into the Lihue-Koloa Forestry Reserve. It eventually meets up with the Moalepe Trail that winds through the Kealia Forest Reserve.
A great website to visit is the official Hawaii Trail Website it offers valuable information about trails, terrain, length, difficulties, amenities, and hazards. Always hike with plenty of water, snacks, and supplies. Only hike in designated areas on marked trails. Trails are well maintained but can be slippery when muddy and wet.
An important note about camping on Kauai
Camping on the Island of Kauai is only allowed at select State and County parks and camping at either type of park requires that you obtain a permit. While these permits are very affordable, the fine for camping without one can be as high as $500. For more information about camping in a Hawaii State Park, visit the official State Parks website, and for information about camping in Kauai County parks visit the county website — both sites contain great information for campers.