#Kauai: A Walk To the Pineapple Dump

Lots of people were still at Kealia Beach when we started out
Lots of people were still enjoying themselves at Kealia Beach when we started out on our walk

The walk from Kealia Beach out to the Pineapple Dump is my all-time favorite short hike on Kaua’i. It’s close to our home, just a mile each way on the eastside beach path, and the entire walk is packed full with gorgeous views.

The view as we left the beach area. The tide was in, and the surf was quite rough
The view as we left the beach area. The tide was in, and the surf was quite rough

Brett and I headed out for a walk late in the afternoon on Father’s Day. The sun was still out down at the beach, but there were storm clouds looming over the mountains to the east, and approaching from the south as well. The tide was up, the wind was strong, and the surf was rough – just the way we like it when we take this walk!

One of the BIG houses sprouting up above the beach walk
One of the BIG houses sprouting up above the beach walk

The area on the mauka (mountain) side of the trail used to be covered with sugar cane and pineapple fields, but these days there’s just the new crop of multi-million dollar homes with killer views.

Tidepools run through the rocks on the shore
There are loads of tidepools in the rocks along the shore
Looking north to the Pineapple Dump. The concrete jetty can be seen in the center of the picture.
Looking north to the Pineapple Dump. The concrete jetty can be seen near the center of the picture.

Back in the day, when there were pineapple canneries on Kaua’i, a train would back a car full of pineapple debris out onto the narrow jetty, then tip the car and dump the debris into the ocean. The pineapple was usually quickly swept out to sea and eaten by fish and other sea creatures, but sometimes the tide would be running in the wrong direction and would take the debris south to Kapa’a or Lihue and dump it on the beaches there. The smell of rotting pineapple was said to be ghastly.

The Pineapple Dump jetty
The Pineapple Dump jetty
Looking north from the Pineapple Dump
Looking north from the Pineapple Dump
The surf is alway churning under the jetty . . . beautiful, but deadly
The surf is alway churning under the jetty . . . beautiful, but deadly
The view from the Pineapple Dump - perfect for whale watching in the winter
The view from the Pineapple Dump – ideal for whale watching in the winter

The concrete jetty is all that remains of the dump these days. There is a viewing platform at the top of the jetty, and a small gazebo with a picnic table nearby. The area is an ideal place for whale watching in the winter, when the Hawaiian humpbacks head to the north side of the island after giving birth. You can also sometimes see sea turtles, monk seals and occasionally nene, the Hawaiian goose (an endangered species), along the walk.

Storm clouds heading in on our walk back to the car
Storm clouds heading in on our walk back to the car
Kealia Beach was complete clouded over the we arrived, although there were a few die-hards still there
Kealia Beach was complete clouded over when we arrived back, although there were a few die-hards still there
Nou'nou, The Sleeping Giant. Ancient Hawaiians lit fires behind the mountain to frighten off intruders coming to Kaua'i
Nou’nou, The Sleeping Giant. Legend says that ancient Hawaiians lit fires behind the mountain to frighten off intruders coming to Kaua’i

The walk back to Kealia provides sweeping views of the coast and mountains to the south, including Hau’upa and Nou’nou, the Sleeping Giant. By the time we got back the clouds had rolled in, and the humidity was so thick you could slice it with a knife. The rain arrived shortly after we got home, so we had timed our walk perfectly!