Thursday, April 8, 2010

Power hiking Kauai

The Powerline Trail (don't worry, you will hardly notice the electrical transmission lines) cuts across a center section of Kauai, 13 miles right up the gut, connecting the north shore at Princeville to the east shore, above Kapa'a.

The Kapa'a trailhead (pictured) begins at an arboretum and is engulfed by greenery of the downslopes of Mount Waialeale, an undulating ascent to the ridge that is the trail's midpoint.

From Princeville, the trail overlooks the Hanalei River valley and climbs up ferny forest lands that were given a crew cut by Hurricane Iniki almost two decades ago.

Gung-ho cyclists and seasoned trekkers can do the Powerline in a day, but the better option is to sample an out-and-back from each trailhead. Everyone should plan on getting shoes splotched with red Kauaian mud. Gear up for this one, including a hiking pole. You'll find detailed directions in your Kauai Trailblazer guidebook.