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Travel for Green Escapes: Hong Kong’s 8 Most Friendly Hiking Trails for Beginners

Hong Kong is like two worlds in one. The city is famous for its large buildings and busy markets, where there’s always something going on. But if you’re yearning to get away from the buzz, you’re in for a treat. Jetting off to this dynamic city and eager to explore its lush, quieter side? You might want to follow us to check out the friendliest hiking trails for beginners. Right in the city, you can find spots filled with greenery and quiet trails that feel a million miles from the city noise. These are the city’s secret gardens, offering a perfect retreat without ever really leaving. 

City Escape for Nature Enthusiasts

Hong Kong may be known for its bustling city life, but did you know it’s also home to stunning mountains, peaceful islands, and vast parks covering almost half of its land? This mix of city and nature is loved by both locals and tourists. Recently, hiking has surged in popularity, becoming a favored weekend pursuit among residents and tourists alike. It offers a dual reward: an opportunity to stay active and a chance to reconnect with nature.

Enjoying Hong Kong’s Hiking Trails is a Walk in the Park

Hiking in Hong Kong isn’t just for the rugged mountaineers; it’s for everyone who wants to dip their toes into some greenery without leaving the city’s heartbeat. We’ve got you covered with the top 8 friendly hiking trails for beginners. They’re perfect for anyone who wants to swap cityscapes for landscapes, even if it’s just for an hour or two. Each path leads to a different kind of beauty – all easy to get to, all worth your time.

1. Dragon’s Back

Dragon’s Back is known for offering amazing views of places like Shek O, Tai Long Wan, and Stanley in Hong Kong. It’s easy to get there with a short bus ride from the city. The trail is about 8.5 kilometers long, and depending on how often you stop to take pictures or enjoy the scenery, the walk can take between 2 to 4 hours. This is one of the friendliest hiking trails for beginners, offering a gentle introduction to Hong Kong’s natural beauty without a strenuous climb.

Getting There:

  • First, take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station.
  • Leave through Exit A3 and catch Bus 9 to To Tei Wan on Shek O Road.
  • Once you get off the bus, you’re right at the beginning of the hiking trail.

Finishing Up:

  • The hike ends near Big Wave Bay, where you can catch a Red minibus or Bus 9 back to Shau Kei Wan.

2.Lion Rock

Lion Rock, a symbol of Hong Kong’s strength, sits between Kowloon Tong and Tai Wai. The hike to the top is a bit challenging, but the breathtaking views of Kowloon make it worthwhile. The whole trip usually takes about 3 hours, but it might take longer if you often stop to enjoy the scenery and take photos.

Getting There:

  • Take the MTR to Lok Fu Station.
  • Leave through Exit A, take the minibus 53M to Tin Ma Court. 
  • Get off at Kam Chuk Lane, Tin Ma Court, walk to the opposite side of the road to Chuk Yuen Road. 
  • The entrance to the hiking trail is located on the pedestrian staircase of Chuk Yuen Road. 
  • Follow the signs to Lion Rock Park, where the trail begins.

Finishing Up:

  • You can walk for 20 minutes via Shatin Pass Estate to Wong Tai Sin Station.
  • Or take the minibus 18M to Wong Tai Sin Station.

3. MacLehose Trail Section 1

For those just dipping their toes into the world of hiking, the MacLehose Trail provides an ideal start. This particular stretch, a welcoming introduction to the trail that traverses the New Territories, begins at Sai Wan Pavilion. The route will guide you past the architectural marvel of High Island Reservoir’s dam and alongside scenic beaches. The journey is a visual treat and pleasantly manageable, offering a taste of Hong Kong’s diverse hiking trails for beginners without much strain. Expect to spend a leisurely 3-4 hours completing this section in a total of 10.6km, perfect for a day’s adventure.

Getting There:

  • Take the MTR to Choi Hung Station.
  • Exit C2 and hop on the green minibus number 1 to Sai Kung Town.
  • From Sai Kung Town, take a taxi, bus 94, or minibus 7 from Sai Kung Town to Sheung Yiu. 
  • The trailhead for MacLehose Trail Section 1 is from here, well-signed and easy to find.

Finishing Up:

  • The section ends at Long Ke Village. From here, you can retrace your steps back to Sheung Yiu bus stop.
  • Alternatively, if you’ve arranged transportation, you can get picked up at Long Ke Village.

4. Lantau Trail Section 1

It’s a simple route that takes you through serene villages and lush valleys with minimal climbing, ideal for those who prefer a less strenuous walk. The hike typically takes around 1-2 hours to complete, covering a distance of approximately 2.5 km.

Getting There:

  • Take the MTR to Central Station.
  • Head to Central Pier No.6 and catch the ferry to Mui Wo on Lantau Island.
  • From Mui Wo, follow the signs to the start of Lantau Trail Section 1.

Finishing Up:

  • The hike ends at Nam Shan.
  • From Nam Shan, you can either take bus No.3M back to Tung Chung MTR Station or explore the nearby attractions like the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.

5. Tai Tam Reservoir to Quarry Bay

Start from the Tai Tam Reservoir to Quarry Bay hike, spanning approximately 8 km and typically taking about 2 to 3 hours to complete, depending on your pace. Along the way, revel in the serene beauty of Tai Tam Reservoir and its lush surroundings, offering a picturesque backdrop as you journey towards Quarry Bay.

Getting There:

  • Take Bus 14 from Sai Wan Ho MTR Station (Exit A) to Tai Tam Country Park.
  • Start your hike from the Tai Tam Reservoir Country Park entrance.
  • Follow the signs for the Wilson Trail Section 1, which leads to Quarry Bay.

Finishing Up:

  • The hike ends in Quarry Bay, where you can explore the vibrant neighborhood or catch public transportation back to your starting point.

6. Ping Shan Heritage Trail

For a blend of culture and leisurely walking, the Ping Shan Heritage Trail in the New Territories showcases traditional Chinese architecture and historical sites. This trail is more of a cultural walk than a rugged hike, ideal for history buffs. It spans approximately 1.6 km and typically takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete, making it perfect for beginners to explore Hong Kong’s hiking trails with a cultural twist.

Getting There:

  • Take the MTR to Tin Shui Wai Station.
  • From Tin Shui Wai MTR Station Exit E3, it’s a short walk to the start of the Ping Shan Heritage Trail.

Finishing Up:

  • The trail ends back near Tin Shui Wai MTR Station, where you can catch public transportation back to your starting point or explore the nearby area.

7. Tsz Shan Monastery

This tranquil trail offers a spiritual retreat with views of the stunning Tsz Shan Monastery. The trail in Tsz Shan Monastery spans approximately 1.5 km and typically takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete, allowing plenty of time for meditation and reflection amidst beautiful Buddhist sculptures. The area is not only conducive for hiking but also for spiritual contemplation. If you plan to visit, be aware that an online reservation is required. When you arrive, remember to present the staff with your email confirmation for admission.

Getting There:

  • Take the MTR to Tai Po Market Station.
  • From Tai Po Market MTR Station, head to the nearby bus stop and catch minibus number 20B or bus number NR532 to Tsz Shan Monastery.

Finishing Up:

  • The trail ends at Tsz Shan Monastery, where you can explore the monastery grounds and enjoy the serene surroundings.
  • After your visit, you can take the same minibuses back to Tai Po Market MTR Station to return to your starting point.

8. Aberdeen Country Park

Located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, this well-paved trail offers a leisurely hike with lush forest scenery and occasional views of the Aberdeen Reservoir. The trail in Aberdeen Country Park spans approximately 2.5 km and typically takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete, making it an enjoyable outing for hikers of all levels.

Getting There:

  • Take bus number 7 from Central or bus number 76/ minibus number 4C from Causeway Bay to Hoi Au Lau Yue Kwong Chuen, Aberdeen.
  • Get off at the designated stop for Aberdeen Country Park.

Finishing Up:

  • The hike ends at Aberdeen Country Park, providing the option to take bus number 7 to return to Central, bus number 76 to go back to Causeway Bay, or to explore nearby attractions.

Hiking Tips:

  • Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, especially on scorching days, as you might not find many spots to refill along the trail.
  • Put on a cool hat and slap on some sunscreen to keep those rays at bay.
  • Strap on your trusty shoes because the terrain can get a bit wonky in places.
  • Weekends and public holidays tend to be hopping, so why not kick off your hike bright and early to dodge the bustling crowds?
  • Before you hit the trail, give the weather forecast a check and shoot a quick message to let someone know about your awesome hiking plans!

Enjoy your hike, take plenty of photos, and have a great time on one of Hong Kong’s best trails!

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