Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Mahaulepu Trail

Head out the through the terraces, pool-side extravaganza and artificial lagoon at the fabulous Grand Hyatt on Kauai's south shore and hang a left on Shipwreck Beach. Then up to the tawny bluff—a leaping spot for thrill seekers—and you'll be truckin' on the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail.  These shoreline cliffs, formed around 350,000 years ago, are composed of a very thick accummulation of lithified sand which are constantly being undercut by continual wave erosion. Seabirds find nesting spots in the nooks. Whales cruise by fairly close to shore in the winter and spring.

Yes, you skirt a golf course (one of Tiger's favorites), but you also touch history at the site of Ho'ouluia Heaiau, a largely-intact temple.   The bluff trail descends through a geologic swirl and drops you at Gillan's Beach. From there you can pound sand (and more bluffs shaded by ironwood trees) to wild-and-remote Haula Beach.  For a complete list of the hikes in this area consult your Kauai Trailblazer .  Historical details and and a virtual tour of the trail can be found at Hike Mahaulepu .