You’ll feel exhilarated when you spend time on the coastal Kauai Path. Enjoy spectacular ocean views while watching seasonal humpback whales and experiencing some of the best tropical Kauai bike riding you won’t soon forget. Even without a bike you can walk along the shore for miles and appreciate its beauty.
Start the path in Kapaa town, located halfway between our Kauai Resorts on the north and south shores. You’ll find this to be the perfect activity for all ages and abilities. It’s also become one of the popular things to do on Kauai.
The Kauai Path is seldom hilly and stretches along for miles hugging a coastline not always visible by car. You’ll see, feel and embrace the ocean as you walk or ride along the shore. Pack a swimsuit to enjoy the Kauai beaches you’ll pass and bring a picnic lunch. There are many pavilions along the way with tables to enjoy casual oceanfront Kauai dining.
We started the Kauai Path at Coconut Coasters where bikes can be rented starting at $8.50 an hour. Within minutes we were heading north out of town towards Kapaa Point which is a prime place for viewing the coastline. Look for dolphins and turtles there year round. It offers a fantastic vantage point from its elevated location.
Next was a swim at popular Kealia Beach featured in the movie, The Descendants. There are bike racks to use and locks come with your rental. This beach is popular with swimmers, surfers and boogie boarders. You’ll find restroom facilities and a lifeguard.
We were soon off for the next stretch which is the most dramatic. You lose sight of the highway and enjoy the rugged coastline heading to Donkey Beach. This also makes a nice lunch stop since the surf is too strong here for swimming. Once back on our bikes we were just a short distance to the end of the path where there is a hike to Secluded Cove. This picturesque spot is teeming with fish among its black lava rock boulders and coral formations.
On the ride back we headed to the far end of the path in Kapaa at Baby Beach. There is work currently being done to link the path from here to Lydgate Park. The completed path will stretch all the way south to Lihue and as far north as Anahola. Every time you come back to our Kauai vacation rentals you may find new places to walk or bike.
Tips: Wear sunscreen and good tennis shoes with cushion if you’re walking. Carry water with you. Stay to the right on the path. Bring a camera and move off the path for photos. Cyclists yield to pedestrians.
Historical Information: Also called Ke Ala Hele Makalae in Hawaiian for, “the path that goes by the coast,” it was paid for using federal highway enhancement funds matched by a gift of 67 acres of shoreline including 7 acres of beach at Kealia. More information on the history and future of the path can be found at kauaipath.org.
Map: You can see each phase of the Kauai Path on the Map courtesy of kauaipath.org. For this article we biked on Phase 2 from Lihi Park to Ahihi Point, 8 miles round-trip.
Bike Rentals: Coconut Coasters offers a large assortment of bikes for kids and adults. Safety helmets and locks included. They even have bikes for two. Prices start at $8.50 for an hour, $18.00 for two hours and $20 for all day. You’ll find them behind the Coconut Cup Juice Bar at 4-1586 Kuhio Hwy in Kapaa. Phone is 808-822-7368.
Have questions about the Kauai Path? Leave a comment and we’ll respond. We also invite you to share your tips and experiences if you’ve been on the Kauai Path.
(Photo Provided by Coconut Coasters).
What is the name of the secluded cove past Donkey Beach, at the end of the bike path? Mahalo!
We looked at a historic map of Kauai for help. It looks like the cove you asked about is between Ahihi Point and Anapalau Point. There doesn’t appear to be a name for the actual cove. If we do hear of one we’ll update this comment. Thanks for your question and we hope to see you on island soon.
Best Wishes from the Parrish Kauai team
Michal Clements says
Just wondering if you have an update on the Kauai Coastal Path. Are any new sections open now in late 2014? Last update was 2012.
PS Or, if there are any other nice walking paths near Poipu. We don’t want to drive a huge distance. Thank you!!!
Hi Michal – We’re pleased to report that the Kauai Path now runs from Lydgate Park all the way north to Donkey Beach. While you are in Poipu, you may want to enjoy the Mahaulepu Coastal trail that starts at Shipwreck Beach. It is an easy hike with fantastic ocean views. You can read more about it on our blog. Have a great time on island! Aloha from the Parrish Kauai team
I’m really looking forward to biking the Pathy by the Sea when we go to Kauai this summer. What is the round-trip mileage from Lyndgate Park to Donkey Beach?
Hi Sharon – We know you’ll enjoy the Kauai coastal path. The round-trip mileage is 12.4 between Lydgate and Donkey Beach. See you this summer! Aloha from Parrish Kauai
Hi, I’m guessing that this entire path is not accessible to cars? If so, that would be great. I could take the kids in a bike trailer. Do you know if anyone rents bike trailers? Looks like so much fun. Thanks for posting this. Soeun
Aloha Soeun, correct. The entire path is free of motorized vehicles. You and your kids will be safe and be able to enjoy some amazing views!
Barbara Norris says
Where does the trail start as of now, and end? How long is it so far in miles?
Mahalo for your question, Barbara. The Kauai coastal path is a work in progress. The longest stretch is just over 8 miles round trip. It starts at Lihi Park in Kapaa and ends north of there at Kealia “Donkey” Beach. You’ll find Lihi Park at the end of Kaloloku Road which is opposite the Kapaa Shopping Center and Larry’s Music Center. Work is currently being done to connect this part of the path with the Lydgate Park section. If you decide to try the Kauai Path, we hope you’ll come back and leave a comment about your experience. Aloha from The Parrish Kauai Team!