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Wailua Heritage Trail pau, for now

WAILUA — A joint effort between the County of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Kaua‘i Visitor Bureau, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources and Royal Coconut Coast Association (RCCA) resulted in the expansion of the Wailua Heritage Trail to a full 3-mile route.

The project’s completion of this phase was recently blessed by Kumu Sean Chun and Cultural Practitioner Pihana Ka ‘Ikena o Kaua‘i with Sabra Kauka, cultural consultant, and sign makers Tulu Taulanga, Selu Taulanga and Tommy Cook.

The route contains nine bronze anodized markers on lava rock mounts. The project made possible through an Innovation Grant from the county to the RCCA in 2023 for the new markers that provide Hawaiian place names and interpretation of each site’s significance.

This Innovation Grant also covered an expansive website for the Heritage Trail at www.wailuaheritagetrail.org.

Additional funds for brochures were provided by the HTA and the KVB.

The Wailua Heritage Trail project is within the HTA’s Destination Management Plan goals for increased cultural and educational awareness.

The marked signs include Wailua Bayk, ‘Opaeka‘a Falls, Wai‘ale‘ale, Nounou, Maunakapu and Wailua River, Kauamo‘oloa‘akane, Holohhloku, and the Royal Birthing Stones, Hikinaakala at Hauola and Ma‘ama‘akualono. Another marker, for the Poli‘ahu Heiau, will complete the 10-marker project.

The Wailua River Valley is a region where all waters flow into the Wailua River. The valley is rich in Hawaiian history and stories pertaining to Hawaiian royalty, place names, and culture.

The RCCA considers this project as an important legacy for the island’s residents and a meaningful experience for visitors. A future element of the project includes development of information for school field trips.

“Completing the fully marked Wailua Heritage Trail provides a remarkable historical and cultural education along this significant route,” said Margy Parker, media relations for the Royal Coconut Coast Association.
Source: The Garden Island

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