Hong Kong is known for its towering skyscrapers and vibrant city life, but it also offers a breathtaking natural landscape with many national parks and countless hiking trails that cater to all levels of hikers. From easy family-friendly walks to challenging treks for hardcore hikers, Hong Kong has something for everyone. With its lush greenery, scenic views, and diverse flora and fauna, hiking in Hong Kong is an adventure that should not be missed, whether you’re visiting the city or if you live here. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 hiking trails in Hong Kong that are perfect for families, nature lovers, and hardcore hikers alike. So grab your hiking boots, your bottle of water and let’s hit the trails!
Dragon’s Back is a probably one of the most popular hiking trails in Hong Kong and is part of the Hong Kong Trail Section 8. This hike is a moderate level trail that’s suitable for most hikers. The trail starts with a steep climb up, but once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Shek O Beach and the South China Sea. As you continue on the trail, you’ll walk along the ridgeline of Dragon’s Back, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. After completing the hike, visitors can also explore nearby attractions such as Shek O Beach or the Big Wave Bay Beach, where you can enjoy local restaurants and yummy snacks.
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.
Hiking Lantau Island is certainly the exception to the usual over-paved, cement paths that has become the feature of so many hikes in Hong Kong and if you’re looking for more “wild” hiking options, Shek Pik Reservoir is a destination you might not want to miss. Located in Lantau Island, the area is surrounded by lush green hills and picturesque views of the reservoir. The hiking trail around Shek Pik is a moderate level hike suitable for most hikers. The trail is perfect for nature lovers who want to enjoy a peaceful and scenic hike. After completing the hike, visitors can explore nearby attractions such as the Shek Pik Prison or the fishing village of Tai O.
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Getting there: Options include bus number 23 from Tung Chung MTR, the cable car from Tung Chung, bus 2 from Mui Wo or bus 21 from Tai O.
Bowen Road To The Peak
Bowen Road to The Peak is an amazing trail in Hong Kong that offers breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour, Wan Chai buildings and Mid-Levels. The trail is a moderate level hike suitable for most hikers and takes approximately two to three hours to complete. The trail is paved and relatively easy to walk, making it a popular destination for families and casual hikers, except for those who begins from Wan Chai Gap Road. From there, it goes up, and it’s not suitable for everybody. After completing the hike, visitors can explore nearby attractions such as the Peak Tram or the Sky Terrace 428 observation deck. Bowen Road to The Peak offers a unique perspective of Hong Kong’s famous skyline and is a must-do hike if you have no time to go to far.
Duration: 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Getting there: From Central, take the Mid-Levels Escalator to Robinson Road or a taxi/bus (12, 12A, 40, 40M, 56, or 69) to Bowen Road stop. From Wan Chai, take the Wan Chai Gap Green Trail at Wan Chai Gap Roap and go up.
MacLehose Trail is a famous hiking trail in Hong Kong that covers a total distance of 100 kilometers so you have plenty of option to explore various paths. The trail is divided into ten sections, with varying levels of difficulty. Hikers can choose to complete the entire trail or select a section that suits their fitness level. The trail takes visitors through some of the most beautiful scenery in Hong Kong, including stunning coastal views, rugged mountains, and picturesque villages. Along the way, hikers can enjoy sightseeing at several landmarks, including the Sai Kung East Country Park, High Island Reservoir, and Tai Mo Shan. The trail is suitable for both experienced hikers and beginners, with different sections ranging from easy to challenging. If you’re a hardcore hiker, MacLehose Trail sections 1 to 4 will challenge even the most seasoned ones!
Duration: The entire trail takes 4 to 7 days to finish. Most tackle the trail in sections that last for a few hours.
Getting there: Bus 94 from Sai Kung Town and get off at the Pak Tam Chung Terminus. The hike starts at the junction of Pak Tam Road and Man Yee Road.
Violet Hill And The Twins
This 4.8km stretch, which forms Wilson Trail Section 1 (78km of footpath which passes through eight country parks), will certainly give you street cred for being hardcore : when reaching the Twins, get ready to climb over one thousand stairs, and boasts some of the most incredible views of Hong Kong, especially on your way down to Stanley (if you start from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park). The trail also takes hikers through lush trees and offers panoramic views of the city from the summit of Violet Hill and The Twins. On a clear day it’s hard to beat the view is truly gorgeous.
Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours
Getting there: Take bus route 6, 41A, 76, 63, or 66 to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park.
Mui Wo To Discovery Bay
The Mui Wo to Discovery Bay trail winds along the southern coast of Lantau Island, offering impressive views of the shimmering sea and verdant landscapes. This moderately challenging hike begins in Mui Wo, and traverses the Chi Ma Wan Peninsula’s hills and beaches before culminating in Discovery Bay. From the pier, go to the Silvermine Beach Resort and walk to the end of the path to start the hike that will bring you to Discovery Bay, where you can enjoy local restaurants and bars for a perfect refreshment. While there are a few steep uphill sections, the picturesque surroundings make the effort worthwhile. You can walk around the Our Lady of Joy Abbey, a monastery located in Tai Shui Hang.
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Getting there: Get the ferry to Mui Wo (Pier 6) from Central Ferry Piers.
Cheung Chau Island
Cheung Chau boasts temples, sampans, colonial buildings and some of Hong Kong’s oldest residents. It’s a short day trip that will impress visitors with ‘old Hong Kong’. It’s a ferry ride from Central, but this sleepy island feels worlds away. The hike is relatively easy and you can finish with a feast near the ferry pier. Get your visitors out of LKF and show them that it’s not all just bars and tall buildings.
Getting there: Ferry from Central Pier 5.
Morning Trail From The Peak To Mid-Levels
The Morning Trail from The Peak to Mid-Levels offers a peaceful retreat from Hong Kong’s urban frenzy. This invigorating hike winds through lush vegetation, rewarding hikers with awe-inspiring panoramas of Victoria Harbour and the iconic city skyline. Along the way, explore landmarks such as the historic Old Peak Road and the renowned University of Hong Kong. The trail is moderately challenging as it goes up, starting at the Victoria Peak Garden and concluding at Conduit Road in Mid-Levels. Perfect for an energizing morning workout, the Morning Trail is spectacular mist is in the air, adding a magical atmosphere to the trail.
Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
Getting there: Taxi to the Peak Galleria or bus 15 or minibus 1.
Located in Lantau Island, this hike is suitable to advanced hikers with good conditions as it goes up, but the reward, is astonishing. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, taking you through rocky terrain, so, be sure to have good shoes and enough water as the hike is quite long (5 hours). One of the highlights of the hike is reaching the summit of Sunset Peak, which stands at 869 meters above sea level. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland, and even the city skyline on a clear day. Along the way, you’ll also come across some picturesque sights, including a beautiful waterfall and the Big Buddha statue. There are several rest areas and picnic spots, making it a perfect destination for a day trip.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Getting there: Take the MTR to Tung Chung station and then bus 3M to Pak Kung Au. Follow signs to the Lantau Trail to Sunset Peak. Taxis are available too.
Sharp Peak is a challenging and rewarding hike located in Hong Kong’s Sai Kung East Country Park. This hike is known for its steep inclines and rugged terrain, making it suitable for experienced hikers. However, the views from the top are truly breathtaking and make the effort worth it. Along the way, you’ll pass through rocky paths, and a few stream crossings. The most scenic spot is the summit of Sharp Peak, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, including the coastline and nearby islands. Other nearby attractions include the Tai Long Wan beach, where you can relax and take a dip in the ocean after the hike (or if you realise that it’s too much to go up). Just be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Getting there: From Sai Kung, take bus 94, minibus 7, or 29R or a taxi to the Pak Tam Au bus terminus.
Header image credits: johnlsl via Flickr