Hike Kuilau Ridge Trail, Kauai

Kuilau Ridge Trail

Kuilau 3Often times, travel means eating out more than usual or consuming more calories than you would at home. The mindset of we are on vacation, it won’t hurt sets in. Then, a week or two goes by and your body starts to feel irritated and draggy. I have incorporated a Travel Fit section into this blog where you can find healthy food options such as local farmer’s markets and take part in activities with the entire family while on vacation. If healthy travel interest you, click on “travel fit” listed under topics on the right hand column of the blog.

The Kuilau Ridge Trail is an ideal trail for families of all ages and perfect for the novice hiker. Best of all- it is free! Kuilau Ridge Trail offers breathtaking, Kuilau 4panoramic views of the Makaleha Mountains!!!! As you can see from the picture above, the views are  multidimensional and are almost too much to take in. If visiting the island of Kauai, the trail would be a great place to snap a family photo. We had professional photographers visiting  the island and decided to take them on this trail due to the scenery. Revel in the beauty of the mountain range, explore the island and appreciate the inland views. When tourists come to Kauai, they always want that ocean view! The bright green, sweeping mountains is equally gorgeous and will leave you in awe. There is a reason that so many movies are filmed on Kauai.

The Kuilau Ridge Trail offers large trees which provide shade on the majority of the path. The trail is fun for kids, as they can pick up a walking stick along the way awhile observing the Ohia tree forest and birds. Kuilau Ridge Trail has a gradual incline as you make your way to the flat, open area at the top. Pack a picnic lunch for the family or wine & cheese for a romantic sunset hike. There are two picnic tables located one mile up the path,  for the perfect rest stop. If hiking a mile up and back isn’t for you, than turn around and make your way back at any time.

Picnic

Picnic

 

How to get there~

The Kuilau Ridge Trail is located in Wailua. Hikers must drive to the trail head which will take you through the rural neighborhoods of Wailua and up into the forested park area of Keahua. The trail begins just before the park area on the right. There is a small parking area on the right hand side of the road (about 3 cars) or continue to drive a little further, where the stream crosses the road and park there.

Take Hwy 56 towards Wailua, turn right on Kuuamoo Road and continue approximately 6.9 miles until you see the trail head. A small sign will indicate the beginning of the trail.

Views of Mount Waialeale (translates to rippling water/overflowing water), the wettest place on Earth, can be seen from the picnic area on a clear day from the top of the trail. Rising to 5,148 feet, Mount Waialeale receives approximately 452 inches of rain per year.

For those of you who prefer to continue on past the one mile picnic area, the Kuilau Trail connects to the Moalepe Trail for a total distance of 3.5 miles. Hikers can make a complete day of the trails or go up for lunch and come back down in approximately 2 hours.

Kuilau 6

Views from Kuilau Ridge Trail

 

Hiking tips: Wear comfortable shoes, socks and a hat. Don’t attempt to hike in flip flops, sandals or water shoes, as the trail can be muddy depending on weather. Carry a small backpack and be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, snacks, small blanket for the grass and insect repellent if the bugs love you.  Kauai rains a lot and the weather is unpredictable, so bring a light rain coat or sweatshirt for the kids just in case. The large, open area at the top is a great place to lay down and watch the clouds or play family board games /cards. The cell range is intermittent on the path. The trail does not have facilities, please use the restroom before you hike.

 5wheelsto5star is featured monthly in Destinations Travel Magazine

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