Waimea Valley, Kauai
The Historic Menehune Ditch and Swinging Bridge are found in Waimea Valley. A part of Waimea’s History for years, these two attractions are located off the beaten path. As a result, the bridge and ditch have received less attention because many do not know about these historical landmarks. Furthermore, many people who are aware of these attractions may be discouraged from visiting because of misleading information. Therefore, it is not a must-see compared to other attractions such as the Waimea Canyon. However, reconsider the trip and visit to this area if you are into history and culture. Explore a part of Kauai’s history while in Waimea.
Menehune Ditch or Peekauai Ditch
The Menehune Ditch is on the list of National Register of Historic Places since 1984. It is said that the Menehune built the ditch. It is believed that these mystical little people gathered stones from miles away to construct the ditch. In addition, Legend says that it took the Menehune only one night to build. The main purpose of the ditch was for irrigating nearby farmlands.
The ditch leads to a small tunnel, only about two to three feet high. This makes a case for believing that the Menehune did indeed build this ditch. Furthermore, when looking inside the tunnel, it looks like it was carved by hand.
Waimea Swinging Bridge
The Waimea Swinging Bridge is across from the Menehune Ditch. The bridge spans over the Waimea River. Most noteworthy, the bridge served as a crossing for plantation workers and children. The original bridge was destroyed during Hurricane Iniki, and was rebuilt in 1996.
Waimea River is 12 miles in length
Consequently, rainy days make it difficult for those who live on the east side of the river to drive across. Therefore, the bridge continues to be a crossing for those who live on the other side. Please respect the No Trespassing signs. A farming camp is set up on the other side of the river.
While standing on the bridge, you can take pictures of the lush Waimea Valley, cliffs and river itself. The Waimea River’s depth changes depending on the amount of rainfall. As a result, when the river is high jumping off a rope into the river, launching down the river in a tube or on a small craft is something to do. However, the river is much lower than in years past.
Find the Menehune ditch and Waimea Swinging bridge by taking Menehune Road. Remember to drive with Aloha in the residential areas. Due to many kids playing along the road, as well as dogs, cats, chickens and even horses roaming about. Drive through the residential area for about a mile and a half. Your destination cannot be missed. There are only a few parking spaces. Walk a short distance to the ditch and bridge.
Getting Back on Track
In Conclusion, if you are leaving and need to turn around. Keep driving past the bridge a until you see a Dead End sign. As a result, you will get to an area to turnaround right past the sign.