Hong Kong Hiking
Less than 25% of Hong Kong’s land is developed and 40% is designated as Country Parks and Nature Reserves. This is particularly evident in the new Territories, where much of the land is still given over to agriculture (see the video). Not surprisingly, the amount of open space and the access provided through designated trails has meant that Hong Kong hiking is a popular pastime.The YouTube ID of FZlkcEEtT5U#t=427 is invalid.
Aside from the hot Summer months, hiking is popular with residents and visitors alike who can pick the length/duration of their walk and the difficulty level (whether over hills or on rough ground).
For families with young children and/or buggies visit the HK Government hiking website, go to the ‘Trail List’ and select ‘Family Walk’ for a full list. These are two favourites:
- The Luggard Road/Harlech Road walk around The Peak is buggy friendly and offers spectacular harbour views on a clear day.
- You can catch public ferries to both sides of Lamma island, which are connected by a clearly signposted pathway. You can either hike over to the restaurants from Yung Shue Wan or you can walk the opposite way starting at the restaurants, For that route you can catch the public ferry (Central pier 4) to Sok Kwo Wan or book the free ferry (Central pier 9) belonging to The Rainbow Seafood Restaurant. On the hike you pass a public swimming beach and some interesting sights to keep the kids amused – there is a picturesque temple and several signposted ‘Kamikaze Caves’, used by Japanese boats in WWII. See our ferries page.
For more serious Hong Kong hiking there are many walks around Hong Kong’s Country Parks. The four major Hong Kong hiking trails listed below can be taken one or several stages at a time, most being well served by public transport.
If you are new to the City, or just visiting there are several hiking tours available:
- Small-Group Hong Kong Walking Tour: WW2 Battlefield Trail
- Private Hong Kong Hiking Tour: Sai Kung East Country Park, Beaches and Hakka Villages
- Small-Group Walking Tour: Old vs New Hong Kong
The major Hong Kong Hiking Trails
- The Hong Kong Trail covers 8 separate stages and goes from East to West across Hong Kong Island, from The Peak to Big Wave Bay (50km).
- The Wilson Trail is in 10 stages and goes from Stanley Gap Road on the south of Hong Kong Island to Nam Chung to the north of the New Territories (78 km).
- The MacLehose Trail comprises 10 stages from Pak Tam Chung to Tuen Mun, travelling East to West across the north of the New Territories (100 km).
- The Lantau Trail is in 12 stages and it takes walkers anti-clockwise around Lamma Island (70 km).
Hong Kong Hiking – What to Take
Even for moderate Hong Kong hiking, you need to plan for the unexpected in terms of what you wear and take with you.
- Backpack to keep your hands free
- Loose clothing, sun hat and hiking boots. Pack a weatherproof anorak.
- Emergency signaling equipment; whistle, torch, mirror.
- Map, compass/GPS, pencil and notebook
- Take plenty of water, sun protection, mosquito repellant and snacks.
- Prescription medication, if applicable and a small first aid kit (plasters etc.).
- HK ID or other form of photo ID.
- Mobile phone and a spare battery (dial 999 for emergency). Note: CSL seem to have the best coverage in remote areas, but not all operators have a signal all of the time.
Other top Hong Kong Hikes
See the Time Out Hong Kong recommended list of hikes here.
Hong Kong Hiking – Safety Guidelines
Hong Kong hiking requires some basic safety measures.
- Don’t be over ambitious in attempting routes beyond the physical ability of the weakest person (particularly children). Pay special attention on hot, humid days or those with low air quality.
- Be aware of the weather forecast and changing conditions whilst hiking.
- Provide a contact person with your hiking plan, hiking program, route map and personal details of all group members. Tell the contact person immediately if you change the hiking plan before or during the hike.
- Stay together. Don’t allow any member to lag behind or get too far ahead. Be aware of each other – and look after each other, being particularly aware of tiredness and dehydration.
- Stick to the trail path.
- Drink plenty of water, rest regularly and eat your snacks.
- On roads, always face oncoming traffic.
- Ideally, have someone in the group who is familiar with the route or have a good hiking guidebook with you that shows photos of the route, allowing you to identify landmarks.
- Remember the route along the way and be aware of your location. At every junction, look back and note the appearance of the landscape. If necessary, leave a marker – or draw a simple sketch map of all the turnings. This will help you retrace your steps if you later become lost.
These are very basic guidelines that you may need to add to, according to your circumstances and the difficulty of the hike. Some of them are very demanding!