Hanalei Pier and Black Pot County Beach Park
Along the edge of the Hanalei River where it flows into the beautiful Bay there is a small sand bar and beach, backed by a green grassy park. Black Pot County Beach Park is the place, and it is the beginning of 2 miles of white sand beach that stretches around the crescent shape of Hanalei Bay. It is a melting pot of beach activities where a simple walk out on the long concrete pier provides one of the best panoramic views on all of the North Shore.
AT A GLANCE:
HIGHLIGHTS: The best view of the picturesque Hanalei Bay, and some of the calmest ocean conditions in the area. Surfboard rentals and schools flank the Pier beachside making for some of the easiest surf access for beginners in the area.
ACTIVITIES: Swimming, surfing, stand-up paddling, beach lounging and picnics.
WARNINGS! The main warning here is that the water gets brown and has currents from river run off, after heavy rains. Avoid swimming in brown water conditions.
AMENITIES: Parking in the lot or on the beach, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and equipment rentals.
The town of Hanalei is a classic Hawaiian ocean community with every kind of water sports available. The Pier is central to this community and is frequented by families of visitors and locals alike. The county park is next to all the action, and provides grassy acreage and amenities to support your beach day. The name of this park is decidedly "not" Hawaiian in origin, but is from the more modern times, when there was a large cast iron pot that would be used by the community at this location for feasts. On weekends, the beach here resembles a small village, with families tailgating all along the beachfront. The Pier provides a separation from vehicles on the beach, a simple walk down the sands gets you more open space and less commotion.
During the summer the Bay is calm and balmy with not much for waves. Dozens of sailboats set anchor off the end of the Pier, and the sun sets into the ocean off the western horizon. Stand up paddling, and kayaking are the best ocean recreation during these calm months.
In winter time, large swells can inundate the Bay, but outer reefs buffer this section of the beach making it more gentle then any other spots in the area. Often surf board rentals and instruction will be offered by the side of the Pier during breaking waves. Without much wind down in this part of the Bay, the waves can become glassy and tube even when breaking small.
Any trip through Hanalei deserves a stop here. It is a great place to look down the coast for weather or inspiration. It is particularly calm and quiet in the mornings for long walks down the beach to "Pine Trees" in the distance.
If you are timid about surfing or stand up paddling but want to try, this is a good North Shore practice spot for calmer conditions. There is also the great option of river or calm ocean kayaking, with rentals available along the river front behind the park.
If the Hanalei gets socked in by clouds, you may have to retreat back to the East or South sides of the island to find clearer skies. It is a small island, being mobile enhances the fun and can get you out from under the clouds.
Closest town: Hanalei
Kuhio Highway / HI-route 56 West entering Hanalei town look for right hand turn onto Aku Road which is first street on the right once you reach the commercial portion of town. Follow Aku Road to the end, driving slowly, until the stop sign and make a right onto Weke Road and follow to the end. At streets end look for parking or head left through the lot and park on the flat sandy beach like the locals do.
Not many places offer parking on the beach!