With its towering skyscrapers and dynamic city life, Hong Kong is renowned for its urban charm. However, hidden amidst this vibrant landscape lies a stunning natural world, offering national parks and a number of hiking trails for all skill levels.
Whether you’re looking to catch the autumn leaves, visit historic sites, or simply escape from the city, check out these 10 scenic hiking trails that are perfect for beginners and families.
Cape D’Aguilar, also known as Hok Tsui, offers one of the easiest coastal trails, leading you to some of the most picturesque spots on the southeast side of Hong Kong Island. Take a leisurely hike that spans just over two hours, covering approximately 8km of mostly flat and paved paths. Once you reach the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve, known for its unique rock formations, you will first encounter the bones of Miss Willy just outside The University of Hong Kong Swire Institute of Marine Science. Miss Willy was a young Bryde’s whale found stranded between the pillars of a wharf in Victoria Harbour. Afterward, make sure to visit Thunder cave, Crab Cave, and the iconic Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse.
Duration: 2 hours
Getting there: Take bus number 9 or the Shek O beach minibus from Shau Kei Wan MTR station
As one of Hong Kong’s most beloved hiking trails and a highlight of the Hong Kong Trail Section 8, Dragon’s Back is a moderate-level trail that welcomes hikers of all abilities with its picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. As you ascend the initial steep climb, prepare to be awe-struck by the mesmerizing vistas of Shek O Beach and the South China Sea. Follow the trail along the dragon-shaped ridgeline, marvelling at the surrounding natural beauty. After the hike, indulge in the delights of nearby attractions such as Shek O Beach and Big Wave Bay Beach, where you can savour local cuisine and treats.
Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours
Getting there: Take the exit A3 from Shau Kei Wan MTR, then hop on bus 9 from the bus terminus. Get off at To Tei Wan on Shek O Road and the entrance is on the road, very close to the bus stop
Nestled on the western side of Victoria Mountain. This picturesque High West hiking route is perfect for beginners and offers breathtaking Victoria Peak sunset views. From the Peak Tower, go on the circular path until you reach a small park where Lugard Road and Harlech Road meet. This is the starting point of the hike. As you hike, marvel at the western regions of Hong Kong Island, including Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town. Gaze towards the south to catch a glimpse of Pok Fu Lam, Cyberport, and Lamma Island. The panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon Peninsula awaits once you reach the top.
Duration: 1 hour
Getting there: Take the tram, bus or minibus to The Peak
Kwu Tung Reservoir
Kwu Tung Reservoir, a beginner-friendly hiking route located to the south of Kwu Tung Village in the northern New Territories. Nestled alongside Ki Lun Shan, this enchanting spot offers visitors a breathtaking view of the heart-shaped reservoir, earning it the nickname “heart-shaped lake”. Formerly used for irrigation purposes, the reservoir now serves as a vital water source for the Hong Kong Flying Service in their battle against wildfires. Hikers and cyclists flock to this tranquil oasis to rejuvenate and savour moments of serenity. Take a leisurely stroll or choose the one-hour route leading directly to the reservoir.
Duration: 1 hour
Getting there: Take minibus 50A or bus 76K from Sheung Shui MTR station
Lau Shui Heung Reservoir
Visit Lau Shui Heung Reservoir just in time for autumn leaves! Starting at a butterfly nature reserve, the trail takes you through picturesque valleys and upland plateaus. As you ascend, you’ll encounter rare dragonflies and damselflies, lush wetlands, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The highlight of the hike is Lau Shui Heung Reservoir, a stunning “Mirror of the Sky” nestled within a dense forest. With Instagrammable landscapes and a relaxed 2-hour duration, this hike is perfect for nature enthusiasts and beginners alike.
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Getting there: Take minibus 52B from Fanling MTR station and get off at the ride it to the Pat Sin Leng Country Park, the junction of Hok Tau Road and Lau Shui Heung Road
Escape the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong with a rejuvenating hike along the Morning Trail. Begin your journey at Conduit Road and follow Hatton Road, opposite the entrance to Hong Kong University. Along the way, enjoy the lush greenery, take in the Victoria Harbour view and the city skyline, which become even more spectacular as you climb higher. With a moderate level of challenge, this trail is perfect for an energizing morning workout.
Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours
Getting there: Take a bus, minibus or taxi to Conduit Road
Mui Wo To Discovery Bay
Whether you’re a casual trekker or an experienced hiker, the Mui Wo To Discovery Bay trail provides a perfect balance of accessibility and natural beauty. Begin your journey from Mui Wo, accessible by bus or ferry, and make your way to the charming Discovery Bay. Take in the breathtaking coastal views and embrace the tranquility of Silvermine Bay. Choose between the more challenging Tung Mui Ancient Trail or the easier coastal hike via Nam Shue Wan and Our Lady of Joy Abbey. Finish your adventure with a delightful meal or tea set in Discovery Bay Plaza.
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Getting there: Get the ferry to Mui Wo (Pier 6) from Central Ferry Piers
Red Incense Burner Summit
One of the best sunset spot on Hong Kong Island, Red Incense Burner Summit is situated on Braemar Hill. This easily accessible hiking route is perfect for beginners. Catch the breathtaking sunset by taking a late afternoon hike. The summit also acts as an incredible vantage point for the famous night view of Hong Kong skyline. Start your journey at the Braemar Hill Bus Terminus and follow the alley just north of St. Joan of Arc Secondary School. Ascend the stairs to begin your hike towards Braemar Hill Peak.
Duration: 45 minutes
Getting there: Take a minibus or bus to Braemar Hill Bus Terminus
Tung O Ancient Trail
Experience a nostalgic adventure along the Tung O Ancient Trail in Hong Kong, connecting the bustling Tung Chung and the serene fishing village of Tai O. This historical route, once a vital path between villages, offers a glimpse into a bygone era. With well-paved trails and clear signage, the hike is suitable for beginners. Along the 14-kilometer journey, you’ll be treated to picturesque coastal vistas, encounters with local settlements, and convenient rest stops for breaks. Keep in mind that the hike takes around four and a half hours, so plan accordingly to complete it before dusk. Be cautious of unpaved sections and potential challenges during or after heavy rainfall.
Duration: 4.5 hours
Getting there: From Tung Chung Station, make your way to Yat Tung Estate
Tung Yeung Shan
As part of the renowned Wilson Trail Stage 4, this hidden gem is just a stone’s throw away from the city center. With its golden-yellow expanse of silvergrass in autumn and sweeping views of Sai Kung, Tung Yeung Shan is a picturesque delight. Choose between two trails, with the Fei Ngo Shan Road offering an easier path and the Tseng Lan Shue trail providing a more challenging but rewarding experience. Plan for a three to four-hour round trip, starting and ending at Diamond Hill.
Duration: 3–4 hours
Getting there: Beginner – Take Minibus 1 from Telford Garden to Fei Ngo Shan Road. Intermediate – Take Bus 91, 91M, or 92 to Tseng Lan Shue, and head to Wilson Trail Section 4
Family Trail – Lamma Island
Starting off from the ferry pier you can take a wander around the town and the seafood shops, admiring island life at its best. From there the trail will take you along the coast with views stretching out to Hung Shing Yeh Beach, Lantau Island and Cheng Chau. At no point is this more than a walk. You can stop along the way to buy fresh coconuts from the locals and explore Kamikaze Cave, where the Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong during the Second World War launched speed boat suicide missions against allied shipping. Spend the whole day on the island and take in the slow place, end at Sok Kwu Wan Village and enjoy some of the best seafood restaurants in the world!
Duration: 1/2-2 hours
Getting there: Take a ferry from Central ferry pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan. From Yung Shue Wan Main Street, walk past Hung Shing Yeh Beach and you will meet the start of the Family Trail.
Waterfall Bay Park
How beautiful does that waterfall look? It’s time you went to find it! And while that picture is not an illusion, it does sit just under Wah Fu Estate and is minutes away from the large buildings of Cyberport – so not as ‘into nature’ as it looks. However, it is definitely worth a visit as next to the waterfall are ruins of a World War II pillbox and a Lyon searchlight, adding to the site’s history. You can also see views as far as Lamma Island and there is a BBQ site if you fancy making a day of it.
Duration: 15 minutes
Getting there: Take the bus 40, 40M, 30X or the 4 from Central. Once there, walk along Wah Fu Road, and Waterfall Bay Road will be on your left-hand side. Waterfall Bay Park is located just down the road.
If you love monkeys this is definitely the hike for you! Who would have thought you could spot (packs) of monkeys wandering not far from the skyscrapers and craziness!? The concrete jungle turns into the real jungle when you head to Kam Shan Country Park (otherwise known as Monkey Hill). Other than the cheeky furry creatures you can also expect a nice scenic trail, perfect for the family. It is one of the shortest hikes in HK, and is more about the monkey spotting than the draw dropping views, but is a must do when visiting the city. Just don’t get too friendly with your new furry friends – they can bite and will steal your food if you are flaunting it!
Time: 1.5 hours
Getting there: From Sham Shui Po, which is the nearest MTR station, take bus 81 to Tai Po Road and get off at Kowloon Reservoir. Walk along Kam Shan Road (inside Kam Shan Country Park) for about 20 minutes, and you’ll arrive at the starting point of the Family Walk.
Header image credit: Philip DeResta via Flickr