Garden Isle Hikes Worth Taking
From a secluded beach to a walk in the wilderness, these trails are worth trekking
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Miles of trails weave through Kauai’s lush interior and along the coast. Some even boast beautiful hidden treasures—from the island’s best beaches, waterfalls, and spectacular views, there are many destinations that can only be accessed by foot on Hawaii’s oldest island. From long and strenuous to short and easy, Kauai’s hikes offer an endless variety of options to experience the most secluded areas on the island. From well-worn trails to as far off the beaten path a person can go, hikers of all levels and interests will find nature awaiting their discovery. If you’re looking for the most rewarding hikes on Kauai, take a hike on one or all three of these trails—you won’t be disappointed by the majestic destinations and unique experiences along the way.
Sunbathe in a Hidden Cove
For a low-impact hike where a hidden white sand beach serves as the pot of gold at the end of a short forest walk, venture to SeaLodge Beach. Nestled below the Princeville Cliffs on the lush North Shore, SeaLodge Beach is a stunning and secluded seaside escape. Clusters of trees flourish at the base of the cliff and provide shelter from the sun, enabling beachgoers to spend several hours enjoying the obscure locale. A blanket of fine white sand borders a small cove boasting great snorkeling as the lively reef offers a good amount of underwater entertainment.
The trailhead is located at the SeaLodge Condominiums where a panoramic ocean view adds another delight to the adventure. Head to the end of Kamehameha Road in Princeville and you’ll find parking in the unmarked stalls at the top parking lot. A wooden sign marks the start of the trail in front of building “A” on the left of the cliff side lawn. The red dirt trail crosses a small stream as it weaves through trees. Because the trail descends towards the ocean, the walk back up is at an incline and can be a bit tiring. Enough rain makes the dirt slick, while extremely dry weather creates a layer of unsettled dust, so either way, be conscious of your footing. As the trail meets the ocean, keep to the left and continue along the large black boulders for about a minute until the beach comes into view.
Like all of Kauai, ocean safety here is relative to the mood of the sea. The fall and winter months are likely to stir up medium to large surf, though the cove usually serves as a buffer from the powerful waves in the open ocean. There’s no lifeguard at SeaLodge Beach, so be sure to use good judgment if deciding to swim and when conditions allow, snorkel. The 10 to 15 minute walk makes SeaLodge the perfect place for a quick stop or a tranquil day in the sun. Bring lots of sunscreen, water and a picnic lunch to make a day of it.