Travel Blog #89 – Dog Walking on the Kealia Bike Path

Jun 4, 2020 | Activity Information

When I was a kid, my family lived in Kihei on the island of Maui. During the 1990s when I was growing up, Kihei was one of the fastest growing towns in the nation. Unfortunately, it grew so fast that some of the city planning came in after the fact. These rapid developments led to a fairly chaotic urban sprawl across South Maui. When I was in high school there was much talk about a Greenway that would cut through the entire town of Kihei. This space was supposed to provide a safe haven for pedestrians away from the hustle and bustle of South Kihei Road and the Piilani Highway. Unfortunately, this Greenway in Kihei was never constructed. I was delighted to find out that there is a similar project in Kapaa on Kauai that has been approved, and is currently under construction.

This path is planned to span the entire stretch of coastline between Lihue and Anahola. Currently, the construction of the path has only been completed on two sections. The north section travels between Kapaa and just north of Donkey’s Beach. This stretch spans just over four miles. Farther south, the other two-mile segment of the bike path goes in front Lydgate Park (which is located just south of the Wailua River). The construction that will join these two segments of the path is expected to be completed in the near future. The completed sections of the path are perfect for taking a bike ride, hike, rollerblading outing, skateboarding ride or dog-walking journey.

Today we decided to take my black lab, Holly Girl for a walk on the bike path. We started out at the Kapaa Boat Ramp, then worked our way north around the point to Kealia Beach. This stretch of coast is absolutely beautiful. From the point on the south side of Kealia you can see all the way down the coast. The view extends past Kapaa and the Wailua River, all the way to the islands main airport in Lihue. We took our time walking and stopped to see all of the sights along the way. Pavilions were located periodically on the side of the path to provide users of the bike path with shade, as well as a comfortable place to sit down.

We stopped once we made it to Kealia Beach. I threw a stick for Holly Girl for a little over half an hour. The waves were rough but I was confident she would be fine. She has been a beach dog since she was a puppy. When she was small I used to take her to Makena Beach on Maui (Makena Beach is known for having a pretty strong shore break). I would go skimboarding and she would make it her mission to chase after me down the beach and into the water and oncoming waves. At first when she would do this I would try and make her stop; I worried that she would get hurt by the waves. Keeping her out of the water was easier said then done. Nothing I could do short of tying her with a metal cable would keep her from chasing me. Even if I did tie her she would cry like a little kid that was told Christmas was canceled. Eventually, I just started letting her go for it and miraculously enough, there has been no serious incidents. Through these beach experiences as a puppy she developed the ability to completely submerge her nose under the water. This skill has helped her to learn how to do all kinds of stuff in the ocean that most dogs never learn how to do. Playing in the surf is one of her favorite things, and it is really fun to watch her in action.

We stayed at Kealia for a just under an hour until we started getting hungry and made our way back to Kapaa. All in all, we spent about three hours from the beginning to the end of our trip. After we were done my girlfriend Simone told me:

I wish we had known about this earlier, because we should definitely do this again.
We decided that we definitely wanted to do an excursion on the bike path again soon. I think next time were going to start at Kealia Beach, then go north to the end of the path just a little ways past Donkeys Beach. This morning we saw some people riding tandem bikes down the path Maybe well have to give that a try at some point too.