Lihue Plantation Hanama‘ulu Ditch

National Parks With T

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When researching our Hawaii trip, the mountain tubing eco-tour with Kauai Backcountry Adventures came highly recommended. The outfitter has leased the lands of the old Lihue Sugar Plantation in order to run tubing expeditions through the irrigation ditches that once carried water from the mountains to the cane fields.

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Lihue Plantation was one of the oldest (founded in 1849) and best financed sugar plantations in Hawaii. One pound of sugar requires 500 gallons of water to be produced, so the plantation workers dug the irrigation ditches out by hand, tunneling through rock and mountainsides.

The Hanama‘ulu Ditch, the one used by Kauai Backcountry, was built in 1870. It served as the conduit…

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