While staying near Poipu Beach in Kauai, Hawaii, I wanted a run I could do in the mornings before our group got together for a day activity. Any introvert can relate to the need to have alone time while on vacation. Lucky for me, I found the Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail early in my trip and had the chance to run it several times.
The trail starts on Shipwrecks Beach by the Hyatt Resort. I had about a mile run to get to they Hyatt, ran along the public sidewalk through the resort and found the trail on the other side of the wall at the end of the sidewalk.
For those willing to get up before dawn, the morning sunrise along the trail offers tranquility and the satisfaction of having having the trail to yourself for a short time. The absence of trail markers along the trail left me guessing at mileage but soaking in the scenery made the distance insignificant.
The trail passes through sandy dunes which makes for slow running but also gave me a chance to seize the moment. No need to hurry in Hawaii.
The mere 150 ft. elevation change along the trail make it one of the easier hikes in Kauai. I didn’t let that lull me into a sense of security as I still had plenty of tree roots and jagged rocks grabbing at my feet and daring me to fall.
I was lucky enough to catch a pod of harbor seals swimming off the coastline one morning. Instead of taking photos, I stood at the point and took in the incredible scene.
I never want to be in too big of a hurry to stop and see the flowers. While I didn’t see a lot on my run, I did see flowers I didn’t even know existed.
Part of the trail runs along the edge of the Poipu Golf Course. It looked like it use to extend toward the water and has eroded away.
I made it to the Makauawahi Cave Reserve on my last run of the week. The reserve is home to Hawaii’s largest limestone cave. Tours are available but it was more fun to stumble upon it not knowing it was there. Signs dot the walking path through the reserve for those who want to learn more about the sight. I spent a lot of time walking around the sinkhole.
I didn’t do more than 6 miles round trip even on the day I made it to the cave reserve so I can’t comment on the length of the trail. I recommend taking a full water bottle as it does get warm when the sun comes out. Also, a good pair of running shoes works better than sandals or flip flops even if only walking the trail. For those staying in Poipu, this trail makes a great daily morning walk or run.
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