Upkeep on the Kalalau

KALALAU — Two more log steps were created on the Kalalau Trail on Saturday in an ongoing Friends of Kalalau Trail project to keep the popular hiking trail clean and as safe as possible.

“It’s so slick right there, even with steps it’s difficult,” said Mark Hubbard, volunteer coordinator for Friends of Kalalau Trail. “It’s much better with steps because it’s not quite so steep and you don’t slip as easily.”

Friends of Kalalau Trail is coordinated by Kauai Planning & Action Alliance and is focused on efforts to rehabilitate the first two miles of the trail, up to the point where hikers cross the stream at Hanakapiai.

Workdays are generally held on Saturdays, twice a month, and usually run from around 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hubbard said he and his four companions hiked in to Red Hill, worked for about three hours, and then hiked back out, which is typical of a Friends of Kalalau Trail workday.

This time around, Hubbard was accompanied by Friends of Kalalau Trail regulars Frank Whitman and Bill Newton, as well as Hubbard’s grandson Tanner Hubbard and Alex Dutcher.

“She (Dutcher) walked the trail a couple of weeks ago and wanted to help work with us,” Hubbard said.

The five were able to install the two log steps before afternoon rains descended upon the trail. All the while, hikers were ducking in and out of the workers.

“They try to avoid the work, but we say ‘step on it,’” Hubbard said. “We count on them to tamp down the dirt.”

Without the foot traffic, the trail remedies could wash away fairly quickly, he explained.

“With that many people walking on it, by the end of the day it’s all hard packed and that’s what we want,” Hubbard said.

The next work day along the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail is on Aug. 27, Anyone interested in getting their hands dirty while helping the ‘aina can reach Hubbard at (808) 639-4746, or send an email to markhubbard46@gmail.com.

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