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Kauai stone dam hike via Wai Koa Loop Trail is open to the public! ​ Access through North Shore Dog Park on Kahiliholo Road in Kilauea.

We welcome the public to Common Ground for upcoming events and pop-up retail. Check our schedule.

Wai Koa Loop Trail Info

Kauai Stone Dam is accessed through the Wai Koa Loop Trail which is 4.5 miles long and takes about 2 hours. ​The hike is rated beginner / intermediate for mostly flat terrain. There are no bathrooms or potable water on the trail. Plan accordingly!

Please check out our online Marketplace to discover a curation of our favorite local products from a new generation of Hawaii based businesses. New products will be added regularly.

What to bring on the trail:

Public Access via Common Ground Coming Soon. 

Common Ground has historically been the gateway to Stone Dam and after construction, we plan to restore public access. We welcome the public to Common Ground for upcoming event, visit our events page for details

Historic Stone Dam

In the 1800s, Kilauea Sugar Plantation went through a period of intensive projects--such as building the first railroad in Hawaii and Stone Dam. Even though Kauai is one of the wettest spots on Earth, there wasn't enough water for the thirsty sugar cane in Kilauea. The solution was building a series of reservoirs, aqueducts, ditches, and dams to service the sugar fields, town drinking water and field workers.

Each rock was cut by hand and carefully placed. The dam needed to raise the water level 20 feet in order to utilize gravity to water the canefields during the dry season. The specially angled buttresses were designed to support the natural migration of o'opu (Hawaiian freshwater goby) up the stream.

To learn more about the historical use of the lands around stone dam check out the article about Common Ground's Guava Roots.

Citations:

Writings of Uncle Jack Gushiken, private collection.

Images: Kilauea Sugar Plantation in 1912: A Snapshot by Carol MacLennan

Kilauea Sugar Plantation in 1912: A Snapshot, eVols digital institutional repository for the University of Hawaii (UH)

Acknowledgements:

The Wai Koa Loop Trail and Stone Dam are open to the public and protected in perpetuity by the Hawaii Land Trust.

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