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Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail



2.1 mile 3.4 kilometer point to point
99% Runnable


Ascent: 125' 38 m
Descent: -107' -33 m
High: 81' 25 m
Low: 15' 5 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 11% (6°)


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Map Key

Trail shared by Steve Jackson

Enjoy beautiful coastline, dramatic cliffs, and an archaeological site on South Kauai.

Steve Jackson

Features Birding · Cave · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife


This run starts at Shipwrecks Beach. This trail follows the coastline to the Makauwahi Sinkhole. It is not marked very well and has many parallel trails.

Need to Know

The cave reserve is only open on certain days. Check the website if you are interested in going inside the cave.


This trail follows the coastline to the Makauwahi Cave. It is not marked very well and has many parallel social trails.

The official start of the Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail starts at the end of Shipwrecks beach. This portion of the trail is in a dune area and parallels the coastline, but there are many parallel social trails that can be confusing. Your best bet is to follow the most well traveled portion. You'll run through the dunes with some ups and downs and then notice the Poipu Bay golf course on your left. You'll eventually be running on the extreme edge of the golf course, cliffside. Be aware of the golfers and watch out for errant golf balls.

You eventually exit the golf course and get back on coastline trail. Again in this area, there are numerous sub-trails that all go in the same direction. You'll pass CJM Stable on your left and then see signs for the Makauwahi Cave Reserve. The trail is split between a horse trail and foot trail with signs guiding you. The trail circles the cave with interpretive kiosks for you to check out. Eventually, you'll end up at a bridge at Waioli Stream.

Flora & Fauna

Nene, monk seals, sea turtles, and humpback whales can all be seen depending on the season.

History & Background

Check and for complete descriptions of historical and archaeological information.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes

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Land Manager: County of Kauai, Hawaii

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Jan 17, 2019
Atsuko Ohtake
Windy. Storm to move in later this morning.

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 17 votes


in Poipu


  4.6 from 17 votes
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140 Views Last Month
5,928 Since Oct 22, 2017



View of Makauwahi Cave Reserve from rim
Oct 21, 2017 near Kōloa, HI
Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail
Nov 26, 2017 near Kōloa, HI
View of the trail toward Gillins Beach
Oct 21, 2017 near Kōloa, HI
Shipwreck Beach
Oct 21, 2017 near Kōloa, HI


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