Take the Secret Tunnel to the North Shore
If you want to do something really cool then take the Secret Tunnel to the North Shore. This is an absolutely amazing experience and one that you don’t want to miss. Until recently many people felt the existence of the Secret Tunnel was simply a myth, however it is real and lots of fun. If you are on the east shore valley you will arrive at a tunnel that is only a mile long yet it will take you all the way to the north shore and let you out in the back of Hanalei Valley.
How Was the Tunnel Made?
It is incredibly interesting how the Secret Tunnel was made and is worth learning about just for the knowledge it brings. Back in the 1920s there was a sugar company that really needed water for its crops and there was an abundance of water in the Hanalei River. So, the sugar company came up with a plan to blast a tunnel into the solid rock and divert water from the river through the tunnel and to their sugar crops. This worked well for some time, however the sugar production on Kauai began to decrease and the need for the water was no longer. So, the company stopped diverting the water and the dam no longer is able to do so. Don’t worry that if you take the tunnel you will get blasted by water from the river because it is no longer possible. In fact, it would require a significant amount of work to reconstruct the dam for the diversion of water to be possible, so don’t worry!
Arriving at the Tunnel
Arriving at the tunnel is not exactly easy, but it is worth it. The trail is muddy for at least 2 ½ miles and this is no surprise since there are more than 160 inches of rain here every year. When you arrive at the tunnel you may be surprised that there is standing water, however this water just comes from the ceiling of the cave. It’s about four inches deep and easy to walk through. The tunnel itself is fairly large at six feet wide and up to 10 feet high in places. Sometimes you will find places that are not so high and you may need to stoop down, but that is not frequent. As you complete the length of the tunnel you may be surprised to see railroad tracks. More than likely these were placed here to help remove debris from the tunnel when it was being completed. As you are close to the end of the tunnel you will see light and can even get out of the tunnel for a bit, walk a bit and see a waterfall. This is a nice little side trip, but then you should get back in the tunnel and keep on walking until you reach the end.