Kauaʻi offers a great variety of State Parks to choose from. Decide what types you prefer, or visit several different kinds of one day. The choice is yours with Kaua’i state parks!
Cool Mountain Retreat
Did you ever imagine trout fishing on Kauaʻi? Probably not. Yet this is a popular choice for local families at Kōkeʻe, along with camping, hiking, seasonal plum picking, and pig hunting. See a spectacular view of Kalalau Valley from a 4,000-foot elevation, and explore trails through native rain forest. There are cabins and tent sites available for rent, or just drive up to visit the state park in Kaua’i for the day. On the way up to Kōkeʻe, you’ll also want to stop off at Waimea Canyon lookout, for an incredible view of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
Of course, Kauaʻi has its share of state parks down by the water. A favorite with both visitors and locals, Hāʻena State Park on the North Shore (at the end of the road) offers a trailhead into Kalalau Valley, views of the Nā Pali coast, and a beautiful beach at Keʻe. It’s a great place to picnic beachside with the family; swimming conditions can occasionally be hazardous. No camping is allowed here.
Another coastal state park in Kaua’i, well worth the time for a quick stop, is the Waimea State Recreation Pier. This is the best and easiest place to get a good view of the mysterious islands of Niʻihau and Kaʻula.
Several of the state parks in Kauaʻi have fascinating history attached to them. On the way to Waimea, stop off at Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park. This fort opens a little-known chapter of Kauaʻi’s history: a brief attempt from 1815-1817 to secure the island on behalf of Russia. The boulder-built fort is a mixture of Russian design and Hawaiian construction methods. There is a self-guided walking tour available.
Wailua River State Park, while being home to several beautiful waterfalls, is notable for containing a large complex of heiau (ancient temples). This abundant area was once the seat of chiefly power on the island, and the history is still very much alive here today. Please be respectful as you visit the various sites, which range from royal birthing stones to sacrificial temples.
Kauaʻi’s state parks are as varied as the landscapes of the island itself. Plan to visit some during your trip!
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