Ke Ala Hele Makalae


11 Reviews

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Ke Ala Hele Makalae Facts

States: Hawaii
Counties: Kauai
Length: 9.5 miles
Trail end points: Ahihi Point (Kapaa) and Lydgate State Park (Lihue)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6383426

Ke Ala Hele Makalae Description


Ke Ala Hele Makalae is Hawaiian for "The Path that Goes by the Coast," and describes this beautiful 9.5-mile multiuse path on the island of Kauai (also known as the "Garden Isle").

About the Route

The rail-trail partially follows a former railroad line once used to haul the island's sugarcane. Today, the route offers access to parks, beaches, and coastal communities, including Ahihi Point, Kapa'a, Wailua Beach Park and Lydgate Park. A highlight of the trail is Lydgate Park, which houses two lagoons protected by a stone seawall offering calm waters for ocean swimming and snorkeling, as well as picnic pavilions, tent campsites, and a playground.

All along the trail, nearly two dozen interpretive signs share information about local archeological, cultural and historic sites; the native names of streams and canals; the plants and animals that can be seen here (including whales and monk seals); and many more topics unique to the area.

The trail will eventually follow the eastern shoreline for 17 miles between Anahola and Nawiliwili.

Parking and Trail Access

The Ke Ala Hele Makalae runs between Ahihi Point (Kapa¿a) and Lydgate State Park (Lihue).

Parking is available at:

  • Waipouli Beach Park at the Lihi Boat Ramp, Kaloloku Rd (Wailua)
  • Kapa'a Beach Park, Kuhio Hwy (Kapa¿a)
  • Lydgate Beach Park, Leho Dr (Lihue)

These are not official addresses, visit the TrailLink map for all parking options and more detailed directions.

Ke Ala Hele Makalae Reviews

Perfect Cruise Excursion!

My wife and I rented bikes downtown and rode the entire length of the path, making stops along the way. It was a perfect morning on the island, which we enjoyed as part of our cruise.

Beautiful, easy trail

One of the highlights of our trip! I started at Kauai Shores Hotel and went to the end of the path at Paliku Beach (Donkey Beach). I was afraid the disconnected part of the path from Sheraton Coconut Beach Resort to Fujii Beach would be difficult to navigate and have us riding on Kuhio Highway but luckily that's not the case. Bike paths have been added that don't show up on Google Maps. Look at the photo gallery to see a detail from a map from Kauai Bike Explorer to see how to navigate the disconnected part of the path. When I rode the trail in August 2023 it went a little past the Paliku Beach Access Tree Tunnel. It took about two hours round trip from Kauai Shores Hotel. It was pretty much flat the whole way and an easy, leisurely ride. It's a beautiful, unique trail and I can't wait to see it expand.

January ride

Lovely coastal ride on a rental one speed from Hele on Kauai. Level well maintained surface with plenty of spectacular lookouts along the way. We did only the ~5 mile northern section since the trail is not continuous. We saw southern section at Lydgate park which would not be particularly interesting as an isolated ride.

Excellent work in progress

I've been focused on cultivating use of this path system for 20 years. The Trail Link maps don't yet show some recent expansions of the system. There is about 0.5 miles of path spur that crosses Kuhio Highway and goes up Kawaihau Road, and the path extends from the Lihi Park end point indicated about 0.7 miles south to the Uhelekawawa Canal bridge.


Great trail, but not continuous.

I really loved the trail today, but the fact that it is not connected from one section to the next makes it less than ideal. A very beautiful ride though, and easily done wit the loaner bikes from the Hilton Garden Inn.

Located in the most beautiful place on earth

I admit, I'm biased when it comes to Kauai. That being said, this trail is amazing. It skirts the east coast of the island. We rented bikes at Coconut Coasters and rode the trail a few times back and forth. We also took a side trip to the Spaulding Monument, up Kealia Road. While the monument is not much to see, the uphill climb is worth it for the view. It's a great spot for a picnic too. We rode the trail in 2010 when it was only 4 miles long. I guess we'll just have to go back and ride it again.

Kauai's BEST kept secret

Enjoyed this path during our 2 week stay in Kauai. What an INCREDIBLE experience. It's beautiful, easy access and leads to access to the most beautiful beaches and views one might not see by car alone.

We rented bikes and started in Wailua by Lydgate park where we were staying and managed to get through the small spot where there is no trail just fine.

Once past Long's Drugs, there is a small section of highway and sidewalk to ride until it picks back up at Kapaa Shores.

My 12 year old who barely rides a bike at home did just fine on this journey.

Whether walking, riding a bike, pushing a stroller, I highly recommend taking advantage of this path during any visit you make to Kauai.

I for one will do what I can to help support the completion of this project.


Beautiful bike ride on our last morning in Kauai

Rented 3-speed coaster bikes from Coconut Coasters and road the entire trail. It was a beautiful ride and a great way to spend our last morning in Kauai. We do recommend 3-speed bikes as there are some easy hills that are better in a low gear. Several great beaches with picnic areas and restrooms. Not very crowded and great places to hang out or beach if you want. For those who like mountain biking, the paved trail ends and goes into a dirt trail on the north end that looked like it would be fun for mountain bikes. Most of the bike shops also have mountain bikes for rent as well as coasters.

"Most beutiful paved riding/walking trail I have ever seen"

This all coastal path is being built in segments with the finished sections running from South Kapaa to Donkey Beach (which is a few miles north of Kealia) on Kauai's eastern shores.
The path along Kauai's famed Coconut Coast has beautiful wide paved lines to ride or walk with fresh tropical breezes swaying the coconut trees high above. As you continue north, the path starts to slightly elevate just north of Kapaa HI which makes for perfect whale, turtle and dolphin watching points all along Kealia Kai.
The path is non vehicular and not at all crowded. Restrooms and rest areas with picnic tables every .5-1 mile.
Biking the path is how I travel and I recommend Coconut Coasters in Kapaa if you need to rent a bike. This path is good for all skill levels and is easy to navigate.


Kauai Path

We rode this path in March 2009 and again in March 2010. It is now 4.5 miles long starting in Kapa'a and heading north right at the water's edge. Bike rentals, meals, hotels, and great shopping are easily available in Kapa'a. The trail goes alongside beaches and cliffs, so you can also stop for a swim. The path also passes a public pool right by Coconut Coasters Bike Rentals. There are several pavilions along the trail for a picnic lunch. Many families enjoy biking and walking on this excellent trail. Folks we talked to had spotted a whale that day, and another found a newly born monk seal at the north end of the trail. Even on a quiet day, the views are magnificent.

Kapa'a bike path

I was on this trail last week and it will be fantastic when finished. The trail runs along the beach on the eastern side of the island of Kauai and the views are magnificent. Another 2 mile segment is just about to open which will make the path 4.5 miles long. in addition there is a two mile path in lydgate state park that is very good. This path ends about two miles from the south end of the Kapa'a path. thus when conected next year the path will be about 8.5 miles long. There are rental shops near the Kapa'a trail.

Today the road between lydgate and Kapa'a is too dangerous for most people to ride on.

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