The easiest, loveliest walk on the Wai Koa Loop Trail
If you’re not careful, you’ll miss this jewel of a trail on Kauai’s east side. Located just south of the entrance to Kilauea you’ll see the sign for Garden Island Chocolate. There’s a shop to the left and a tour (we haven’t been on it yet). But to the right is a small gift shop. That’s your way into the Wai Koa Loop Trail.
You have to register at the Anaina Hou store/smoothy shop, but the 4.5 mile walk is free to take. The park, by the way, is lovely. They’ve built a new playground for the kids and there are some great gifts in the store.
Once you sign their permission form you head back down from the parking lot to the trailhead. Follow the signs – the trail is easily marked. The first part travels through some jungle, up a hill, then back down, around, and back up again!
Eventually you come out into more of a clearing and you can see the mahogany forest in front of you. It’s the Mahi Mahakonia Mahogany Plantation. At that point there is a fork, left and right. Go right (it’s actually a loop. You’ll come back to this place again on the way out).
The hike from here is nearly flat. As you hike along you’ll see some great views of the mountains so have your phone ready to take pictures. There is an old stone dam, built in the 1880’s for Kauai’s sugar cane industry. The road to it was damaged in the April, 2018 floods, so you can’t go there at this writing.
But don’t worry, it’s absolutely still worth the hike. If you are lucky, you’ll come across a herd of horses that are part of a stable in the area for horse riding.
There are tons of great hikes on Kauai. For more of our adventures, click on the Hiking category.