A scenic, multi-use path that runs along the stunning east coast of Kauai, otherwise known as the Coconut Coast, the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path is a fantastic way to explore the coconut groves and pineapple plantations that are sprinkled around this extraordinary part of Hawaii. With numerous access points and significant landmark sites, the path is a convenient and exceptionally beautiful, way to explore the rich history of this region of Kauai.
With white sand that stretches out for just over half a mile, Kealia Beach’s sand bar is constantly changing, and it has long since attracted large numbers of surfers. With strong currents and a reliable surf, this is a great beach to stop off and have a splash around in the water before continuing on the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path.
The Remains of the Pineapple Dump
Along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path, there is a long structure that extends out over the ocean and usually ends up puzzling those who view it. The structure actually dates back to before the 1960’s, to a pineapple canning plant that used to be situated in the area. After producing its cans of crushed and sliced pineapple, the pineapple by-products would then be taken to this structure, after which they would be dumped into the sea.
Ahihi Point and Donkey Beach
Ahihi Point is where the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path ends, and is the most remote spot that the trail passes through. Nearby to here is Donkey Beach, which was named after the mules that that used to live in a nearby pasture, and who were used for hauling sugar cane. While the conditions of the water mean that it is not a beach at which you can swim, its secluded locations make it popular amongst sunbathers, as well as bodyboarders when the water is calmer.
Restaurants on the Path
For those who want to make a day of their walk along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path, there are several tasty local restaurants along the way where you can find a delicious meal to re-energize you. Chicken in a Barrel is considered to be one of the best barbecue spots in the region, using a custom-made 50-gallon drum to smoke all of their meat. Bubba Burgers serves up large juicy burgers, fries and shakes alongside a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean, while those who want some authentic Mexican cuisine can take their pick from Monico’s Taqueria and Paco’s Tacos.
With an increase of private land owners purchasing large areas of Kauai’s East Coast, the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path is intended to ensure that current and future residents, as well as visitors to the island, are still able to enjoy the unique history and beauty of the region. Certain parts of the path are still undergoing planning and construction, and new sections will soon be added to increase its length, concreting its status as one of the most popular multi-use paths on the island.