Ke’e Beach, the future of the End of the Road?

Future plans for the end of the road on Kauai’s North Shore.

If you have ever been to the end of the road on Kauai, you know it is an amazing place! With it’s breathtaking beauty, Ke’e evokes a mystical, magical feeling. Ke’e has been closed due to the recent flood and road closure, but what does the future of the end of the road look like?

For the last 20 years, the county, the state, Board of Land and Natural Resources, land/trust owners have been trying to approve the “master plan’ for Ke’e.  Consequently, the Master Plan recently received initial approval and is making many changes which will change the face of Ke’e forever. The response is interesting, some people are in favor, some are vehemently opposed. But during an early morning meeting on Ohau, the Master Plan was approved on June 28, 2018.

What will change?

Under the Master Plan, visitors to the area will be limited to 900 a day, as opposed to 4k a day, according to some reports.
Due to this limit, any visitors will be required to have advanced reservations for entry and nominal entry fee required.

Haena State Park receives hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Due to “over tourism” The intention of the master plan is to limit visitors to the area.

However, the 900 visitors a day does not include; overnight campers and hunters with permits, residents, the caretakers, some volunteers or cultural practitioners with cultural/ancestral ties to the Kauai area.

The other changes include a 100-stall parking lot, new entry turnaround, a shuttle stop, and a pedestrian path.

Chipper Wichman, longtime North Shore resident and executive director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden said:

The places we love have been loved to death, this plan is sorely needed. This flood has been Mother Earth’s way of crying out to us.

The importance of the Hāʻena State Park Master Plan quickly elevated after Kauai’s historic flooding in April 2018. Another factor that elevated it’s importance is the subsequent disaster declarations made by the governor. In addition, funds from the ‘disaster mitigation funds’ could help the $3-5 million in costs for the implementation of the plan.

What does that mean to Kauai, you, the visitor & residents?

Ultimately, as a result, it is good news for the magical place known as Ke’e, the land, the natural resources, and the cultural practitioners.  The area is known for it’s the connection to ancient Hawaiian traditions and the practice of Hula.

For the visitor, that means you need to plan ahead if you want to visit Ke’e. There will be a nominal parking fee, so you get to feel good about contributing to the future health of this little corner of the world.

Above all, I hope to see more hula there. And I know for sure that us residents are looking forward to swimming in the lagoon and enjoying the magical sunsets as well!

Here’s to a beautiful swim and glorious sunsets at Ke’e.

With aloha,

Darci Frankel

Haena State Park

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/files/2018/03/Haena-MP-BLNR-Draft.pdf

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