Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kauai's Powerline Trail: Take A Walk on the Wild Side

Some 'adventure hikes' in Hawaii are tourist trots, with hundreds of visitors lined up to check off the experience. Not so the Powerline Trail, which cuts through the middle of the island from above Kapa'a to Princeville on the north shore. Only a zillion plants and a hundred thousand birds are there to share the trail.

The PT begins at the Kehaua Arboretum, about 10 miles inland on the Coconut (east) Coast. Even here, other trails (Blue Hole, Kuilau Ridge) are more popular. Perhaps the drab name, dissuades hikers, even through the power lines are rarely seen in the riot of jungle greenery.

The first short leg of the trail is an uninviting uphill scar of a road. But this ramp quickly ends and then  swerves and undulates through a wild botantical garden. Openings in the canopy reveal panoramas of jagged ridges. You need to stop and look down here and there to comprehend the detail in the micro world. Kauai Trailblazer has the details (on page 84) for the Powerline Trail, as well as other routes that are off the beaten track.