Hiking Hong Kong

Best known for its towering skyline and bright neon signage, Hong Kong also offers the outdoor adventurist some spectacular hikes. Outside the main city areas are hiking trails suited for both amateur and seasoned hikers. The best months for hiking are from late autumn to early spring, when it’s not rainy and not yet too hot and humid.

MacLehose Trail

MacLehose Hiking Trail - Photo by Leung Ching Yau Alex

CC Photo by Leung Ching Yau Alex

Opened in 1979, MacLehose Trail stretches along vast tracks of the New Territories, which arguably feature Hong Kong’s most varied and finest countryside. 100 kilometres long in total and meandering through some beautiful natural scenery, the trail is divided into ten shorter stages, each with its own difficulty rating.The trail is named after Sir Murray MacLehose, who was Hong Kong’s longest-serving governor and also an enthusiastic hiker. The trail is the site of the annual Oxfam Trailwalker fundraising event, which takes place in November and typically attracts over 1,000 walkers.

Dragon’s Back

Dragons Back Hiking Trail - Photo by Alan C.

CC Photo by Alan C.

Dragon’s Back offers a relatively easy hike through some of the most beautiful scenery Hong Kong has on offer. In 2004, TIMEasia ranked it as the best urban hiking trail. The trail ends at Big Wave Beach, which is the perfect spot for a refreshing dip.Also near the end of the trail is Shek O village, where small roadside cooks make affordable and delicious food – especially attractive if you’ve worked up an appetite during the hike.

Wilson Trail

Wilson Hiking Trail - Photo by Leung Ching Yau Alex

CC Photo by Leung Ching Yau Alex

Wilson trail is named after David Wilson, also known as Baron Wilson of Tillyorn, who governed Hong Kong from 1987 to 1992. It was developed by an environmental agency known as “Friends of the Country Park” and sponsored by various private organizations.Opened in 1986, the trail traverses eight of the Country Parks, and so offers hikers a wide range of scenery, as well as a diverse mix of flora and fauna. The trail runs north-south, beginning in the small town of Stanley, and is 78 kilometres long.Wilson Trail is extremely tough at the outset. It climbs some sheer hillsides, including the formidable “Double Twins”, before it levels out somewhat into an easier hike.

Lantau Trail

Lantau Hiking Trail - Photo by Alan C.

CC Photo by Alan C.

Lantau Trail, opened in December 1984, is 70 kilometres long, and starts and finishes in Mui Wo. With plenty of well-maintained visitor facilities along the way, this is the most forgiving of the four main Hong Kong hiking trails. Although easy-going, it does makes its way past Sunset Peak, Hong Kong’s third highest peak, standing at a height of 869 metres above sea level.Lantau Trail is host to the annual Phoenix Walkathon, a fundraising event for the promotion of ecotourism.

Post courtesy of Jeff from UK tour operator Thomas Cook Tours. They offer escorted Hong Kong holidays (click here) as well as holidays to China (more here) to UK travelers.