When is the east coast bike path going to be completed?

Kauai Path:   Ke Ala Hele Makalae's corridor envisioned for that multi-use path system extends from Niumalu to Anahola—about 20 miles along Kauai’s eastern shore with connections to Lihue’s town center.

The whole endeavor has been segmented into six phases. The first two phases, Lydgate Beach Park & the Kapaa-Kealia areas, are complete. Most of the third phase is also complete, but a one-mile gap remains between phases one & two. That gap will most likely be completed in 2019, creating a contiguous ~8 mile coastal path system with a spur going inland to the Kawaihau Road residential area.

Scheduling construction of the fourth (Lydgate Park to Hanamaulu), fifth (Hanamaulu to Niumalu & Lihue), and sixth (Kealia to Anahola) phases will be up to the next County of Kauai administration, as determined by the Mayor who will be elected this coming November. Our current Mayor, Bernard Carvalho has been a champion of the path, and has been in office for ten years. He’s reached his term limit, so we’ll have a new Mayor in 2019. (January 30, 2018 )

The Gap in Phase III.

Linda T. asks: Is phase three of the bike path completed yet? How many miles does the bike path go? Mahalo, Linda
Kauai Path: As of September 2017, Phase III of Ke Ala Hele Makalae is not yet complete—there is a gap of about 1/2 mile between the Lydgate Park to Coconut Marketplace path system (southern of the two completed contiguous path systems totaling about 3-1/4 miles) and the Waipouli to Kuna Bay path system (the northern portion, about 4-1/4 miles long along the Kapaa and Kealia coast). 

You can navigate the gap following this route.

Additionally, there is a ~3/4 mile long spur that goes inland across Kuhio Highway just North of Otsuka’s Furniture Store (see image below).  The Kawaihau Spur & Elevated Boardwalk connect the coastal path alignment to the Kawaihau Road area including Kapaa High & Elementary Schools. 

Geoff C. writes: Hello. We will be on vacation on Kauai in August 2014. Can you tell us what phases of the Lydgate Park to Kuna Bay pathway are now complete? It looks like phase 1 and 2 are complete, but we are wondering about phase 3.
 Kauai Path:  Aloha Geoff,  You are correct, as of mid-2014 [and now mid-2017] there are portions of Phase III that have not yet been built. There is about a 0.75 mile gap between the North end of Papaloa Road and Waipouli Beach Resort.

The gap is walkable and bikeable by routing through the Coconut Marketplace’s parking lot,  along Aleka Loop Road, and then along the makai side of Kuhio Highway, but that section will be MUCH more fun once the path is built.


What is that thing sticking out over the ocean?

Troy A. writes: Someone was asking me if I knew what this was along the bike path in Kealia.  Do you know?  Is there an interesting story?

Kauai Path: That is the remains of the Pineapple Dump.
   Up until the 1960s the Hawaiian Canneries Company, Ltd.  canning plant in Kapaa (where the Pono Kai condominiums are now) used to produce canned sliced and crushed pineapple and pineapple juice used for food-flavoring purposes. Factory by-products — the crowns & skins from the processed pineapples — were loaded onto train carts and hauled up to that structure.
    The rubbish was then dumped into the ocean from the end of the pier.

    At some point a fisherman installed a fishing pole holder near the end of the pier.
  Today access onto the pier is blocked with railings displaying a pineapple motif reminiscent of that bygone industry.
   NOTE: Since this question was asked, interpretive signage has been installed with this sort of cultural, historical, and environmental information at the rest pavilion near the Pineapple Dump and at about a dozen other locations along the path. This interpretive signage project was awarded a Historic Hawaii Foundation Preservation Award.


Projected Completion of Wailua-Kapaa Sections

Ronald B. asks: I will be visiting Kauai Sept.- Oct. 2013. What information can you provide about the bike path?
Kauai Path: Aloha Ronald, thanks for your interest in Ke Ala Hele Makalae.

When you are on Kauai this fall, the connection of Ke Ala Hele Makalae between Lydgate Park (~4 miles of path meandering within Lydgate Park, crossing the Wailua River, running North along Wailua Beach, and along Papaloa Road stubbing out at the Coconut Marketplace) and the contiguous 4.2 mile section (from Lihi Park in central Kapaa along the coast North to Kuna Bay) will still be under construction and/or planning. (see update)

In short, there will not yet be a contiguous ~9 mile long multiuse path all the way from Lydgate Park to Kuna Bay.

With a bit of determination, the resolute walker, runner, or cyclist should be able to traverse the incomplete portion of that alignment.

The two complete sections are in constant use, are very attractive, and the interpretive signage now being installed along the Kapaa - Kuna Bay corridor should be completely in place by the time you arrive.

Additionally, there should be a new section of path (indicated as the "Phase A Spur" ) completed that will climb the hill between the coast and the residential neighborhood along Kawaihau Road at the North end of Kapaa town. That section now has finished concrete on the ground at the base and at the crest of the rise, but the elevated above-grade center section is planned for construction in the summer of 2015.

If things proceed as planned, the labor for the elevated section build will be provided as a training exercise for military personnel deployed to Kauai. This civil engineering exercise is part of the Pentagon's Innovative Readiness Training ("IRT") program. Hopefully those plans will survive the range of fiscal constraints imposed on many government projects--we'll see.

When you are on Kauai, you might want to purchase a Go Green Kauai map for details on Kauai's various hiking, biking, and running assets.   


About the Kawaihau spur (winter 2013, updated May 2014)

R.S. of Kapaa asks:  Just curious to know a few aspects of the multi-use path spur from the coast up to Gore Park.  Is there any idea of a completion date - time frame?

Kauai Path: There are two parts to this section of path: (1) is the concrete on the ground portion, and (2) is the elevated portion that will bridge the abrupt changes in the terrain. The area in (1) is complete, but that leaves a big gap for (2).
     (2) is planned to be designed and constructed by military personnel, operating under a Pentagon program called Innovative Readiness Training ("IRT").
     In 2012 & 2014 similar IRT programs provided free medical services to over many thousands of Kauai residents. Those two missions were medical IRT missions, the work on the path will be a civil engineering mission. The mission is now in the planning/design phase, and we expect  hope to see actual construction begin and be completed in the summer of 2015.

   Recently the Garden Island Newspaper ran a story on this project.

RS: It has been a year since this half-mile section broke ground and many people in the Kawaihau area are anxiously awaiting it to be finished! 

KP: Agreed--as are many of us!

RS: The [pedestrian] cross walk at Kuhio highway seems very dangerous. 

KP: It would be great to have a "split-grade" crossing there, like an underpass for bike/ped, but sadly that is not going to happen. That's one reason we keep advocating for better facilities. What is in place for that crosswalk is a system of pedestrian activated flashing lights to warn motorists. This is not a stoplight. Construction for the installation of that system is now complete (May 2013 update).

RS: What are the precautions being taken to warn the motorists of this area, in particular the speeding south-bound highway users entering Kapaa area?  Signs, flashing lights, rumble strips? 

KP: See above.

RS: Thank you for your time and energy with all that has been done this far!  We appreciate it very much. 

KP: You are welcome. Kauai Path's board members never thought the whole Ke Ala Hele Makalae project would be this involved and time consuming, but in the end the completed coastal path will be most worthwhile.
    Again, thanks for your patience, and hopefully you will take an active roll in establishing community stewardship of this linear park that links us together.


What is Kauai Path?
Kauai Path is a non-profit organization that advocates for better walking and bicycling facities for all of Kauai.
What does 'Ke Ala Hele Makalae' mean?
Ke Ala Hele Makalae is Hawaiian for 'The Path that Goes by the Coast'. This is the name of the shared-use path envisioned to follow the coast from Nawiliwili to Anahola.
Are there etiquette guidelines for path users?
Yes—click here for the etiquette guidelines.
What is Kauai Path's vision?
Kauai residents working together to preserve, protect, and extend access island-wide through the design, implementation, and stewardship of multi-use non-motorized paths.
What is Kauai Path's mission?
To protect access for the public in perpetuity by creating multi-use paths and amenities for communities around Kauai, providing transportation and recreational alternatives, and aiding the health and reflecting the heritage of the community.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please use our Contact Form to reach Kauai Path Board of Directors member Thomas A. Noyes.

Which parts of Ke Ala Hele Makalae are wheelchair accessible?

As of Q1, 2011 there are two completed portions of Ke Ala Hele Makalae  — (1) Lydgate Park and (2) the 4.1 mile stretch along the coast from Kapaa to Kealia.

All of (1) is ADA compliant, with many parking areas designated for handicapped access.

The only portion of (2) that has not met ADA standards for access is the connection between the Kealia Kai trail head/comfort station at 22° 06' 58.40" N, 159° 18' 03.03" W and the Kuna Bay Beach—that section of pathway exceeds the slope limitation and is steeper than one would probably want to negotiate with a wheel chair. You can access the overlook of Kuna Bay and all of the (2) coastal path from many access points along the coast.

What are the key Phases of East Kauai's coastal pathway?










The County of Kauai's Ke Ala Hele Makalae project is a six Phase undertaking. Phase I is 2.5 miles, complete in Lydgate Park.Phase II is 4.5 miles from the Lihi Boat Ramp in central Kapaa to Ahihi Point in Kealia. Phase III will connect Phases I & II, from Lydgate Park to Lihi Boat Ramp. Phase IV will go from Ahukini Landing State Park to Lydgate Park.Phase V is planned to go from Ahihi Point in Kealia to the Anahola Beach Park.Phase VI is planned to go from Ahukini Point to Nawiliwili. See graphic.











What is the present status of the County of Kauai's Ke Ala Hele Makalae project?

  • Phase I (2.5 miles of multi-use path) is complete in Lydgate Park.
  • Phase II extends along the coast from Lihi Park in central Kapaa 4.5 miles north to Ahihi Point in Kealia. This Phase was completed and opened for public enjoyment on June 26, 2009.
  • Phase III (from Lydgate Park to Lihi Boat Ramp, plus a spur to the Kapaa Elementary School area): consultant Kimura Associates International has completed the Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been approved by the Federal Highways Administration. Construction began in 2009 and the path to be completed in the 2013-14 timeframe.
  • Phase IV (from Ahukini Landing State Park to Lydgate Park) consultant R.M. Towill is expected to complete the Environmental Assessment in late 2013/early 2014.
  • Phase V (from Ahihi Point in Kealia to the Anahola Beach Park) is envisioned to be built on land owned by the Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands. The first of three Community Input meetings was held on December 12, 2006, conducted by SSFM, the consultant preparing that Phase's Environmental Assessment. At least two more Community Input meetings will be held, dates tbd.
  • Phase VI (from Ahukini Point to Nawiliwili) is in the Environmental Assessment process. Consulting firm R.M. Towill is preparing the EA.
Which motorized vehicles are allowed on the pathway?
Only maintenance and emergency vehicles are allowed on the paths, with the exception of mobility carts for genuinely disabled persons. Motor-scooters, motorcycles, mopeds, powered bicycles, Segways, and quads are excluded.
Can I take my dog on the pathway?
Yes, except for the small portion of pathway in Lydgate Park between the Morgan Swimming Ponds south to the interstection of pathway connecting to the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Sports Park area. Current County ordinances prohibit bringing animals into County parks in general. In May, 2010 the Kauai County Council passed amended animal control ordinances, and the key points are:
  • Dogs may be on path except for the small portion of pathway in Lydgate Park between the Morgan Swimming Ponds south to the interstection of pathway connecting to the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Sports Park area..
  • Handler must be in control of dog at all times.
  • No minimum age requirement for dog handler.
  • Two dogs per handler max.
  • Must have poop bag in evidence.
  • Dog owner must remove & dispose of dog’s feces.
  • Dog must be licensed.
  • Maximum leash length 6 ft., non-retractable.
  • Must remove dog from the area if it gets aggressive.
  • Fenced off-leash dog park to be created in Wailua Homesteads Park.
Who do I report to in case of an emergency on the pathway?
Ke Ala Hele Makalae is part of the County parks system. For all non-emergency situations, call police dispatch at 241-1711. Police Dispatch can notify appropriate personnel to address the issue of concern. All emergencies, call 911. Emergencies should not be called in to the Department of Parks & Recreation. For maintenance issues, contact the Department of Parks & Recreation at 241-4460.
Will horses be allowed on the pathway?
Not at this time. Equestrians were considered to be allowed only from the North end of Kealia Beach to Ahihi Point, within Phase II. A rock fall hazard was identified along the path, and the narrow section was deemed too dangerous to accommodate the equestrian element. During the preparation of the Phase V (Ahihi Point in Kealia to Anahola Beach Park) Environmental Assessment, an equestrian element will be considered for Phase V and possibly continuing South into the Kuna Bay area presently served by Phase II.
What is this group's relationship with County and State governments?
Kauai Path is not affiliated with the County or State governments. Kauai Path is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. In 1999 then Council Member Bryan Baptiste convened a group to serve as a Citizens’ Advisory Committee in order to provide a forum for community input to the planning of an East Kauai coastal pathway. That group selected the name “Ke Ala Hele Makalae” for the pathway from Nawiliwili to Anahola, and between 1999 and 2007 met as the Ke Ala Hele Makalae Committee. In 2007 members of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae Committee nominated individuals to serve on the board of Kauai Path, an organization with a scope of endeavor encompassing all of Kauai. As of December 2007, Kauai Path’s board of directors has been elected,  the group  registered as a Hawaii corporation, and as of 2008 was an independent registered non-profit organization.
Who do I ask about pathway complaints?
Complaints should be addressed to the County of Kauai Department of Parks & Recreation at 241-4456.