Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail + Kawelikoa Bay Extension

The Mahaʻulepu Heritage Trail goes from Shipwreck Beach by the Hyatt Regency Kauai to Punahoa Point (3.7 mi.) but being that I was nearing the end of 2017, I was trying to choose trails that connected to other trails so that I could add more hikes to my 2017 40 hike goal list. I ended up adding the trail to Makauwahi Cave and connecting it to the trail to Kawelikoa Bay for a grand total of 6.1 miles (according to my AllTrails App).


Let me just put this out there and say that this trail was breathtaking. I’ve been to Kauai at least 40 times in the last 5 years, and this by far was my best adventure yet. The trail starts off at Shipwreck beach where there is tons of parking that goes with tons of tourists. I was a bit weary for the first mile because of the amount people on the trail, but afterward, there were fewer people willing to venture beyond.


Essentially, you follow the coastline until the end but you do need to walk through the Poipu Golf course and a heiau (not my favorite part – honestly, I sprinted through). If I could’ve I would have added an extra hour just to take pictures, but we were racing against the weather (in true Kauaʻi fashion).


  • Wear comfortable shoes – the foundation varies from sand to lava rock, Kauaʻi red dirt to coral
  • Bring a rain jacket – on Kauaʻi, it rains one minute and then it’s bright and sunny the next
  • Take the trail between the shoreline and the farm as you get closer to Kawelikoa so that you avoid walking on the beach for a mile



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