Kauai is known as the “Garden Isle” for its high rainfall and lush vegetation, but it is also home to some of the best beaches in Hawaii, with miles long stretches of gorgeous white sand. Running on Kauai is an unexpected treasure. The secret bikeways, coastal trails, and mountain roads of Hawaii’s oldest island offer stunning scenery and lots of variety in a small geography.

Tourists typically stay in Princeville in the north, or Poipu on the south coast. We’ve mapped the most popular routes in these areas, but have also included runs that are worth a trip. The best coastal views are the new bike path on the Coconut Coast; Anini Rd. near Princeville;  the Heritage Trail and run from Poipu Beach in Poipu. The best beaches for running are at Hanalei Bay, Kekaka Beach, and Secret Beach. There are also some excellent trail runs in Kilauea, and some good dirt roads for running by ranches and farms.

For getting around the island, a car is generally required, as there is little public transportation. Otherwise, you’ll have to explore on your own two feet — but with these running routes, that’s not so bad!

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Some of our favorite runs in Kauai, HI

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Secret Beach – Kilauea

Kauai, HI

One of the better beach runs on Kauai. It is 2.2 miles from one end to the other. The sand is generally firm during the right season and tides. Best done during summer. Can do in combination with Kilauea Rd. from the Lighthouse, up toward central Kilauea.

Kauai weather is similar to that of the other islands but tends to be wetter than parts of some other islands. There are differences from one section of Kauai to another. Temperatures are quite steady through the year, with average high temperatures in the ranging from near 80F (25C) in winter to 86F (29C) in summer. Nights are mild, bottoming out in the high 60s in winter to the mid 70s.

Rainfall is dependent on Kauai’s micro-climates. The popular Poipu area is driest, averaging some 20-30 inches of rain annually, while Princeville gets about double that. The interior of the island can average 200+ inches of rain in some years! Note that winter rainfall is 2x that of summer and more often falls at night than during the day.

We’ve tried to put together running routes in the areas that are the most popular for visitors — Poipu and Princeville. Other routes are in popular spots for tourists to visit, particularly scenic areas, or what we call ‘destination’ runs.

There are no dedicated running shops on Kauai, but OutBreak Kaua’i is a great resource on all things running on the island, including group opportunities and events.


OutBreak Kaua’i is a great resource for running events on Kauai. Some signature running events:o

Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon. September. Both a half and a full. One of the most scenic half marathons in the world, according to our friends at HalfMarathons.net

Kokoa Plantation Days. 5k, 10k, and 10-mile races. See site for courses. All from Poipu Beach Park.

Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run. November. Poipu area. 5k, 10k, half-marathon.

Find races on all the Hawaiian islands here.