The interesting Hawaiian legends are not the only thing to explore. There’s hiking, too! The Nounou Mountain ridge provides breathtaking trails. Located in the Nounou Forest Reserve, tourists visiting this iconic landmark on Kauai have three scenic hiking trails to choose from. They can make the 1,000-foot climb on either the two-mile Nounou Mountain East Trail, the 1.5-mile Nounou Mountain West Trail or the two-mile Kuamoo-Nounou Trail.
All three trails end at a sheltered picnic area on the summit, or the hulking “Giant’s Chest.” From there, you have a spectacular lookout. You can see the entire Wailua River Valley.
Many consider the Nounou Mountain East Trail, also known as the Sleeping Giant Trail, the most scenic. It provides fantastic views of the ocean, Kalepa Ridge, Wailua Bay and the Hoary Head Mountains.
The Nounou Mountain West Trail is the steepest way up the mountain and features beautiful wild flowers and a shady forest. Picturesque sights of Mount Waialeale, Kawaikini and the Makaleha Mountains can be seen.
Meanwhile, the Kuamoo-Nounou Trail takes you over the Opaekaa Stream across a wooden bridge and through a cathedral forest of Norfolk Island and Cook pine trees planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It rewards hikers with breathtaking scenic lookouts, including views of Kalepa Ridge.