Trail Conservation

Taking care of Kaua`i's trails ensures the livelihood of all that reside in the island's delicate environment and preserves the land for generations to come. Here are some basic tips about how you can malama (care for) the land you tread upon.

Tread Lightly

Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono : The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness

  • Do not move rocks : Many trails run through ancient terrace sites and other sacred areas for the Hawaiian people. Please show respect by leaving all rocks as you find them.
  • Take nothing with you : Leave all rocks and other items found in your explorations in their rightful place - exactly where they are.
  • Leave nothing behind you : Please pack all trash and if you find other litter, pick it up.
  • Stay on the trail : Trails designate the most safe and environmentally sound way to experience Kaua`i's back country. The ecosystems these trails traverse are extremely delicate and in many cases, endangered. Treading on areas beyond the trail puts precious flora at risk. It can also be dangerous to your well-being to travel off the trail, due to crumbling cliffs and unstable ground.
  • Keep rivers pure : The fragile balance within Kaua`i's rivers maintains an abundance of plants and underwater life. Keep all soap out of the rivers. Be aware that sunscreen can wash off your skin into waterways while you're swimming. Wait to apply sunscreen after dipping in.
  • Don't wrap rocks with Ti leaves : You may discover areas where a collection of rocks are wrapped in Ti leaves. This is not a Hawaiian tradition and it disrespects the basic rules of not moving rocks and refraining from picking native flora. The best way to demonstrate your sense of the sacred is to tread lightly and respectfully.
  • Learn More : The Explorer's Guide to Kauai offers tons of eco-tips and links to many organizations working toward sustainability on the island. Our island-style Ebook guide has over 30 pages of maps and highlights to island towns plus a whole lot more...
Local Eco-Groups
  • Sierra Club : For more information about how you can help with preservation of Kauai's precious natural resources, you can connect with the Sierra Club's Kaua`i Chapter. Also, check out Ecovents that highlight guided Kauai hikes led by Sierra Club members.
  • Kaua'i Path : Kaua`i Path is an organization working towards creating a pedestrian and bicycle (multi-use) trail system envisioned to connect Lihue and Anahola. Some sections are complete and the second phase of construction is underway. More information can be found at
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Now you're in the know... are you ready to go?

Trail Comments (6 comments)   View all comments   

David | Jan 05, 2008 6:10PM

Kind of Off topic, but i'm getting transferred to kauai in about 2 months, is there anywhere to ride dirt bikes, i don't believe in just barging into unmarked or unassigned areas just for y own [...] view more

Kauai Explorer Staff | Jan 06, 2008 7:03AM

David - there are some excellent mountain bike and MTB trails. Generally you have to know people to find and access them. Try the Bike Doctor in Hanalei or Two Wheels in Kapaa. I ride a [...] view more

Crosby | May 10, 2008 2:39AM

Will be visiting in Kauai and would love to hike the easier trails with our 2 1/2 year old. He's a better hiker when he's on his off-road stroller. To ensure the protection of the trails, I wanted [...] view more

Kauai Explorer Staff | May 12, 2008 9:07PM

Aloha Crosby. Mahalo for your consciousness about preserving fragile Kauai trails! The paved Kauai Path that spans Kealia to Lydgate is perfect for a stoller and a beautiful coastal cruise. [...] view more

Bryan | Mar 15, 2009 10:31PM

Just got back yesterday. It changed my life, and I am not prone to that type of thing. I am now diverting some regular charity money now to preserve the island.

Oahu was basically [...] view more

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