Easy Hong Kong Hiking Trails for Visitors and Locals
For such an urban environment, Hong Kong offers so much to hikers, nature lovers, photographers, and anyone that loves the outdoors. There are numerous country parks and nature reserves around the island and peninsula and, best of all, they are open to all, and provide fun and fitness at no cost.
Below are some easy, beginner hiking trails for Hong Kong visitors and tourists (and local residents too). But all these trails are great for both the beginner or experienced hikers, whether young or old. I’ve only included convenient options (and all on Hong Kong Island, keeping in mind that many tourists make the island home base during their visit).
Wan Chai Green Trail
Start out in the city heading up Wan Chai Gap Road and in just a few steps you will be in the quiet greenery of Hong Kong. Just minutes from Queen’s Road East, this is one of the most convenient trailheads on Hong Kong Island. This one and a half kilometer hike is a nice mix of steeper inclines combined with easier stretches, and most of the paths are wide, smooth and shaded. At the top of the first climb the trail intersects with Bowen Road Fitness Trail (see below) and is close to the restroom facilities. For those willing to go the distance, the summit of Mount Cameron awaits. There you will find views of Aberdeen Reservoir and various bays and coves of Hong Kong Island.
Wan Chai Green Trail [see map]
Bowen Road Fitness Trail
This trail is a well-paved path that is popular with runners and athletic types. The wide, relatively flat four kilometer track wraps around the hills as it progresses and there are distance posts and other exercise features along the way. No need to only do that daily run in the morning as the trail is lit at night. As with other HK hiking paths, the fury family members are welcome, and the trail offers scenic overlooks alternating with shaded areas. Take note that other than Wan Chai Green Trail (see above) there are few intersecting hiking trails, though there are spots along the way that allow access back to the city proper.
Bowen Road Fitness Trail, Bowen Road [see map]
|CHECK IT OUT: Lover’s Rock is a regular stop for local couples (and singles!) looking to solve fertility issues or just appeal to the higher powers to reinforce their bonds. Singles can also pray for their long-sought true love. If all else fails, you’ll enjoy great, panoramic views of the Wan Chai area and beyond. Follow signs on Bowen Road Fitness Trail and climb the stairs past the shrines.|
Morning Trail, The Peak
Morning Trail is not just one of the most popular HK trails, it also offers a great counterpoint to the touristy and sometimes crowded Victoria Peak. The trail can be enjoyed in as little as 1 hour or take up to 3 hours at a leisurely pace. With few steep inclines, it is suitable for anyone and offers some of the best views in
Hong Kong. Despite being just steps from the Peak Galleria, lush forests and extensive bird life await you. The trail is a loop so you will end up where you started, and can begin your hike at either Harlech Road or Luggard Road (look for the signs). If the skies are clear (and you time it right) you can get a great view of the sunset over Hong Kong. For those that are doing their trek to The Peak during the day, there are a few ways to hike back down the mountain. Old Peak Road or Hatton Road fitness trail are two more popular paths.
Getting there: There are various trails up the mountain to The Peak but it can be a serious workout (depending on the temperature and humidity). So many want to take the easy way up (in a vehicle) and then just hike back down. The Peak Tram is a fun experience but if you are on a budget (we always are) some cheaper ways to the top are bus 15 from Exchange Square bus terminus, or minibus 1 from MTR Hong
Morning Trail, Victoria Peak [see map]
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Pinewood Battery – Lung Fu Shan
This trail gives you a shaded path along the wooded hillside but occasionally gives way to picture-perfect views of the Hong Kong skyline. The thick vegetation and tree lines will, in most places, muffle the city noise and leave you thinking you are miles away yet stunning views of the city periodically emerge. The hill was the location of a fortified artillery battlement in the 1900s, the remains of which are both interesting and educational for visitors, providing both tourists and locals a glimpse into Hong Kong’s past. An easy option is to start at Victoria Peak (see above), taking Harlech Road to the Hong Kong trail which leads through Lung Fu Shan country park (and includes Pinewood Battery). The trail concludes near the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir which, on a clear day, offers its own wonderful views.
Pinewood Battery, Lung Fu Shan Country Park [see map]
If you have done any amount of research on hiking Hong Kong, you have heard of Dragon’s Back. Like the trails I’ve written about here, Dragon’s Back is on Hong Kong Island. But this one is longer and more varied in the terrain encountered. It will also take more time and commitment than the rest. The trail is named after the jagged mountain range that runs along the south-west peninsula of the island, and offers both winding trails through quiet green glades, and rugged open paths across the rocky hills. It then concludes (or starts, depending on which direction you hike) with beautiful views of the Shek O beach community and the Big Wave Bay area beyond. This view and the stretch of climbing that leads to it is one of the best Hong Kong has to offer. Getting there depends on where you want to start.
Dragon’s Back [see map]
Be Prepared For Your Hike
Remember that it is very important to do some preparation before hiking or trekking, or any kind of outdoor activity that might take you away from basic safety and comforts of civilization. The absolute basics are proper hiking attire, water, a map (or mobile phone with mapping/GPS), a camera, and a whistle. But there are a number of other must-haves that I pack, depending on the trail and time of year. These include an emergency kit, sunscreen, a rain parka, food, a compass (or compass app). I am working on a new post that discusses all the hiking must-haves and how best to prepare for a safe and enjoyable outside adventure.
TIP: TrailWatch is a recently launched app for trail lovers, to enable you to plan and track your hikes. Find new routes, share your hikes and connect with fellow walkers. Download the free app here. https://www.trailwatch.hk/