The Best Places to Hike in Hong Kong
Most people think of Hong Kong as a massive urban metropolis. While there is certainly some truth to this, the country is much more than tall, glass building, old temples, and vast, open markets. Roughly 40% of the city-state’s landmass is devoted to national parks. These parks boast some of the most beautiful scenery in Asia and without a doubt, beg to be explored. These open spaces include parks, beaches and snaking hiking trails found on the islands.
An abundance of natural beauty
While the abundance of public land ensures a multitude of desirable natural hiking destinations in Hong Kong, there are a few that rise above the rest. Experts consider MacLehose Trail, Wilson Trail, Hong Kong Trail and Lantau Trail to be the best. Unfortunately, many people in Hong Kong do not ever experience them. Many residents work very hard and do not have the time or the energy to hike on the weekends. Tourists may have the opportunity to hike, but most want to see the sights of the city. While the urban parts of Hong Kong are exciting and filled with culture, the natural parts can be just as attractive.
Hiking the MacLehose Trail
The MacLehose Trail is one of the longest in Hong Kong. It stretches for over 60 miles. The trail bisects nearly the entire width of Hong Kong. There are many accessible sections that can be traversed by anyone in just a few hours. The MacLehose Trail also has a couple of very steep sections for the truly adventurous. The natural scenery ranges from mountains in the West to valleys in the East and is world-famous for its beauty.
Tackling the Wilson Trail
The Wilson Trail is a bit shorter than the MacLehose Trail but no less stunning. It measures roughly 45 miles. It crosses Hong Kong Island from north to the south and features a variety of scenery that is often seen the postcards sold in the city. A significant international hiking competition, the Raleigh Challenge, is held here every year. The trail was open in 1996, and it’s the newest of Hong Kong’s major trails.
Traversing the Hong Kong Trail
Hong Kong Trail is one of the easier trails in Hong Kong. It is ideal for beginning hikers. While it does have a few difficult stretches within its 35-mile route, most of the trail is accessible to everyone. Hong Kong Trail runs from Victoria Peak to Big Wave Bay. The path holds the distinction of having the most annual events of any of the island’s major trails.
It is host to the Green Power Hike, the Rainbow Trek, and the TrailWalker @HKU event. The Green Power Hike is a charity walkathon. The Green Power organization, which runs the event, is a private nonprofit dedicated to saving Hong Kong’s natural areas. The Rainbow Trek is also a charity walkathon, and proceeds go to help autistic children in Hong Kong. The TrailWalker @ HKU event is a little different. It is a community building exercise for students of Hong Kong University.
Taking on the Lantau Trail
The Lantau Trail is arguably even more suited to novice hikers than the Hong Kong Trail. It is known for being clearly marked along its 45-mile length. As with the other trails, it has many relatively easy sections. Also in keeping with the other trails are its several very steep parts. The Lantau Trail is one of the most popular in Hong Kong due to its excellent accessibility. Of course, this same accessibility causes the trail to be quite crowded at peak times. Hikers looking for peace and quiet are recommended to go early in the morning.
Travelers are planning on taking up any hiking challenge in Hong Kong can book at night at Novotel Hong Kong, on Nathan Road. The hotel’s concierge services can provide more insightful information about the trails and how to get there.