Easy North Shore Hikes | Kahuku Point & Kawela Point | October 2018
The past couple weeks have been different for us compared to the past 6 months. Rather than only having only an average of one day off for a weekend, Curtis has been having consistent one and a half days or even 2 full days at home! We haven’t been able to travel or do anything especially adventurous over our extra time, but it’s been so nice to not feel like we have to fit adventuring, chores/projects, and relaxing into one day. On the first weekend of October, we decided to go out on Saturday and do some shorter, easier hikes with Charlotte, then maybe something longer on our own the next day.
It was raining over the mountains and across the island on Saturday, but we were able to find some dry and remote coastal walks along the North Shore that were dog friendly. We started by driving up to Kahuku and parking in the lot for the Kahuku Golf Course. We had hiked to Kahuku Point before starting at Turtle Bay (and I had gone another time with my family), but this was our first time starting from the South end. The Hiker’s Guide to Oahu advertised this as a remote, quiet walk, but when we arrived we found the lot packed with people and the whole street lined with cars. What was going on? Was there an event at the golf course? We were able to find a spot, and once parked we figured out what it was: a cross country meet. While I was never in cross country, I remember the meets I watched as being either on hot and humid or cold and rainy late summer/early fall days, and the course going through larger city parks. Here, the race course went right along the ocean. How cool would that be?! I wish my sister’s team would travel here for a meet. 😉
Anyway, we made our way around them and to our trail, which came close to the course but not in the way. I think the races were wrapping up when we arrived at around 9:30. We passed through the golf course and made our way to the ocean. Besides two fishermen right at the beginning, we were all alone for our coastal walk. We made our way North, either walking through the sand or along the coral, looking out for monk seals or other creatures. The only wildlife spotted today were crabs scurrying across the sand, which Charlotte would chase around until they ran into an incoming wave. She would wait for the water to recede, then would be completely perplexed when there was no trace of the crab.
Along the way, we spotted some cool coral and shells. However, there was also more trash and plastic lying around here than we’d seen at any other beach. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures around the internet trying to bring awareness to the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean and on beaches, but here we were walking through proof that it exists, and it was heartbreaking.
We wandered just over a mile along the coast headed towards Kahuku Point, but ultimately ran into a stream filled with high, brown water and said “No thank you!” Occasionally after it rains, there will be ‘brown water warnings’ across the island, which usually means sewage or other run-off is in the water and there are high bacteria levels. Clearly, it’s not smart to play in or cross water like that, so we turned around and made our way back to the car.
For our next short walk, we drove North just a little further to the other side of Turtle Bay resort and parked along the road near Kawela Point Beach Park. Here there are many paths going out to the coast and through the trees. They are mainly developed for guests at the resort, but there seemed to be a lot of locals at the beach in the neighboring bay. Curtis’ motivation for exploring this area was to find a letterbox, but it turned out to be a very pleasant walk with a few surprises along the way.
The first ‘surprise’ was a huge banyan tree, one of the widest that we’d seen, that is actually somewhat of a celebrity. A nearby sign read that it had been a backdrop in both Lost and a Pirates of the Caribbean film. Curtis went in search of a geocache while Charlotte and I went to check out the quiet beach. I was hoping to see sea turtles, but there weren’t any out today. (I still have yet to see one here — if I don’t see one while living here I’ll be very disappointed!) We walked back to find Curtis. I spotted him right away slightly hidden by the tree, but Charlotte could only hear and smell his tracks and it took her a bit to find her way to him. As it turned out, while he was searching for the geocache he accidentally came across a letterbox! I thought that only happened in Connecticut!
After that, we followed the trail North for a ways, walking along the quiet bay and out to Kawela Point. Here there is a small pillbox with a great view of the two surrounding bays, with Turtle Bay resort to the right and the foothills of the Northern Ko’olau Mountains to the left. It was the perfect spot to sit and watch the big waves of the North shore come rolling in, crashing against the coral rocks in front of us. Curtis found another letterbox nearby, and we made our way back to our car. Altogether we had hiked 4 miles today. Here are the links for our recorded hikes on AllTrails if you’re interested: Kahuku Point / Kawela Point
We had parked near the Kahuku Farm fruit stand, so we stopped by to pick up a breadfruit, something Curtis had been wanting to try. We’ve tried to forage it a few times but haven’t had any luck, and didn’t want to miss our opportunity as ‘breadfruit season’ is coming to a close. After a little experimenting in the kitchen, he ended up making breadfruit fritters which were pretty good.
Unfortunately, we noticed once we were home that Charlotte was having some issues, so instead of going for another hike the next day, we stayed at home monitoring her and taking her to the vet. While we were sad that taking her for a long walk had turned out this way, it was good we did take her because otherwise we wouldn’t have noticed this possibly ongoing issue. She seems to be on the mend now and hopefully will do better next time!