Kauai Albatross Make a Big Appearance on the Kealia Trail

One of my favorite places to walk is the Kealia Trail in Kapaa. The Hawaiian name for the trail is Ke Ala Hele Makalae (it means “the path that goes by the coast”), and eventually it will run all the way from Anahloa to Nawiliwili. It is a really nice paved trail that runs right alongside the ocean, and you see a lot of walkers, runners, parents pushing strollers, bicyclists, and even roller skaters.

Kealia Trail

The view on the Kealia trail is completely spectacular

Albatross on the Kealia Trail

One day recently, I was walking the trail in late afternoon, and out of the blue an albatross swooped down from from behind me and flew right in front of me. It flew really low, following the trail right where I was going. I’ve never seen one so close before in Kapaa, usually you just see them once in a while and far away.

It was really big. It looked like it was at least 6 feet from wing tip to wing tip. It followed the trail for a while, and then turned out over the ocean and soared in the air currents.

After this one flew by, there was a whole group that followed. And then another group. And then another. It was an endless stream of albatrosses. Watching them fly was impressive. It was a really windy day, and they were flying with what looked like minimal effort. Flapping their wings a few times and then just coasting for long distances.

kealia trail - looking up

Looking up from the Kealia Trail

I did a little research and learned that albatrosses are known for their aerodynamics and impressive flying ability. Scientists are studying them to learn more about the mechanics of flight, and to find ways to improve air travel.

I wasn’t surprised to learn this. Watching them, they seem like really impressive flyers. They find the thermals and ride them, coasting and soaring, and then dive to just barely above the water. It is pretty amazing to watch. They are also really, really big. It makes an impression when one flies right over your head.

Kealia Trail Recommendations

If you want to walk the trail, or run or bike or roller skate it, you can park at Kealia Beach and start there, or there are several other places along the trail to park. I recommend wearing running shoes. Also, trail etiquette suggests that you walk or run on the right side of the trail, and bicyclists will pass you on your left. Finally, make sure you check out the view. The last time I was on the trail I saw a pod of whales passing by.

shoreline-kealia trail

Enjoy the view…this is the shoreline along the Kealia Trail

Directions to Get to the Kealia Trail

To get to Kealia Beach from Kapaa go North. It will be on the right shortly after you head out of town. If you are coming from the North Shore, Kealia will be on the left, just a little bit before you get to Kapaa. There is plenty of parking, and there are restrooms, showers, and lifeguards.

If you would like to live nearby, there are plenty of homes available. You can view a gallery of properties here: Homes Near Kealia Beach.

For more information, you can reach me at (808) 936-7386 or

~ Monica

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