Kauai's Royal Coconut Coast Association Highlights the Three Sleeping Giant Trails as Unique for Hikers of All Abilities

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Within the Royal Coconut Coast area of Kauai, Hawaii, is the Nounou Forest Reserve where a unique hiking trail network provides easy, moderate and difficult routes to access a spectacular 360-degree view on top of Nounou Mountain (popularly called Sleeping Giant). The trails range from three to four miles round trip, all reaching the same pinnacle.

A family enjoys a day hike on the Nounou Forest Reserve Trail on Kauai

Trails ascending Sleeping Giant Mountain on Kauai appeal to all levels of hiking ability.

"The 360-degree view of Kauai on top of this trail is simply spectacular!" - Kim Carillo, Royal Coconut Coast Association

Located in the heart of Kauai's east side, popularly called the Royal Coconut Coast, is the Nounou Forest Reserve where easy, moderate and more difficult routes ascend the same pinnacle. Known for its spectacular 360-degree view on top of Nounou Mountain, more commonly known as Sleeping Giant, the Royal Coconut Coast Association is highlighting this hiking network as unique to Kauai. Each trail suits different hiking abilities, yet all reach the same summit. From the top hikers see a 20-mile stretch of coastline between the Hoary Head mountain range west of Lihue to Anahola on Kauaiā€™s north shore. The view extends 15 miles inland to Mt. Waialeale, at 5,148 feet, a dominant feature of Kauai. The trails vary in length from three to four miles round trip and are called Kuamoo Trail (easy), Nounou East Trail (moderate), and Nounou West Trail (difficult). The State of Hawaii provides a central source of Kauai trail information called the Na Hele Trail System. Nounou Mountain trail information is found by clicking on the trail numbers 32, 33 and 34. Driving time to each trailhead is about 10 to 15 minutes from the Royal Coconut Coast (Kauai's Wailua to Kapaa corridor).

Also called Sleeping Giant Mountain (for a ridgeline profile resembling a large sleeping man), each trail is accessed from different points. The Kuamoo Trail begins just beyond Opaekaa Falls with an elevation gain of 680 feet. This trail, which travels laterally along the Nounou Forest Reserve and intersects with the Nounou West trail, is considered easy with a gentle elevation gain until just before the top. The Nounou East Trail is four miles round-trip beginning at Haleilio Road in Wailua Houselots on the eastern flank of Nounou Mountain. Switchbacks provide a number of viewpoints along the way. This is the moderate route with a 960-foot elevation gain. The Nounou West Trail is three miles round-trip beginning along Kamalu Road (Hwy 581) near telephone pole #11. This is considered the steepest of the three trails with an elevation gain of 800 feet. Hikers on Kauai are commonly advised to carry plenty of water, use sunscreen, bring a hat and light jacket, wear hiking shoes, carry a cell phone and advise someone of hiking plans.

The Royal Coconut Coast Association is a non-profit corporation, officially established in late 2012. The organization serves as a central source of information about features in the Wailua to Kapaa corridor of Kauai including public and private attractions, businesses and area events. For more information, go to http://royalcoconutcoast.com.

Founding members include: Aston Aloha Beach Hotel, Aston Islander on the Beach, Plantation Hale Suites, Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach, Pono Kai Resort, Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy, Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort, Kaha Lani Resort, Mokihana of Kauai and the Kauai Sands Hotel. An additional 27 business members and organizations are involved.

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Margy Parker
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