Wai Koa Loop Trail Info
Stone Dam is accessed through the Wai Koa Loop Trail which is 4.5 miles long and takes about 2-4 hours.
The hike is rated beginner / intermediate for mostly flat terrain.
There are no bathrooms or potable water on the trail. Plan accordingly!
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. Stay tuned for picnic offerings and other specials.
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.
Writings of Uncle Jack Gushiken, private collection.
Images: Kilauea Sugar Plantation in 1912: A Snapshot by Carol MacLennan