Maha'ulepu Trail - Kauai
Starting at the beach in front of the Grand Hyatt in Poipu, the Mahaulepu area and "secret" beach were once just a closely guarded secret among locals and a few adventurous or lost-and-wandering tourists. I found it by just following my nose AWAY from the developed TOWARD the undeveloped vistas at the base of Hoary Head. The coast hugging Maha'ulepu Trail is now being advertised online and promoted by the Poipu Beach association as a tourist draw. It certainly is all of that. A hired hoarseback ride from the stables will actually get you "legally" even further into the undeveloped area than the trail itself which "officially" stops at the fenceline of private property. And there are NO TRESPASSING signs.
If one uses common sense, has reasonable footwear, and prepares for hydration needs, you can hike the trail in and out in a few hours. OR, you can take all day and explore all the nooks and crannys, and return day after day to experience the endlessly shifting element-defining vistas. A guide is not really necessary but could point out much more of the geology, petroglyphs, plants, and general lore. But for some, self-initiated discoveries are especially sweet. My attempts at capturing the beauty of the place will continue as long as I return to Kauai.
Once you click on a picture, the rest will run as a slide show.