5 scenic hikes in Hong Kong for every fitness level

5 scenic hikes in Hong Kong for every fitness level

With an extended stretch of cool weather this year, there’s no better time than now to take advantage of the beautiful outdoors Hong Kong has to offer. 

Though the city is making its way back into gyms and fitness studios as Covid restrictions ease, embracing the great outdoors has myriad physical and mental health benefits. And with over 500 hiking trails to explore, there are as many ways to see the city from a different perspective.

Here, we take a look at five of the city’s most scenic routes for all levels of physical fitness, ranked from easy to difficult. 

#Thousand Island Lake

#Dragon’s Back

#Lion Rock Peak

#Pineapple Hill

#Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls

Photo: Shutterstock

A leisurely walk suitable for the entire family, the trail offers views of the Tai Lam Chung Reservoir in Tuen Mun. The number 43 minibus from Tuen mun MTR station will take you to So Kwan Wat Village, where the 7 km trail circles back to. The trail’s highlight is a short uphill walk that takes hikers to the Reservoir Island Viewpoint. The path is fully paved and takes about 3 hours to complete.

Dragon's Back. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

This trail is one of the most popular in the city for good reason. A part of the Shek O Country park, the mountain ridge is said to resemble a dragon’s spine. It’s easily accessible by bus via Shek Road O, and the relaxing walk leads to Big Wave Bay. Along the way, you’ll be accompanied by endless ocean views and a birdseye view of Shek O. It’s also worth scheduling some time into the 2.5-hour hike to spend at the 8.5km journey’s lookout point and snap a few selfies in front of that iconic view.

Lion Rock. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Lion Rock is synonymous with the city’s resilience and spirit and is one of the best vantage points for those who want to catch a panoramic glimpse of the Kowloon. There are several routes to get to the peak that kicks off in the Lion Rock Country Park in Wong Tai Sin. For those looking for more than just a leisurely stroll, opt for the route that passes another Hong Kong icon, Ahma Rock, located along the descent to Sha Tin. The rock’s name translates to ‘glazing out for husband’; legend has it a wife and her child waited for the husband’s return from a fishing trip, not knowing he had lost his life at sea. The two returned daily and eventually turned into stone.

Pineapple Hill. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

If your usual hikes take you to the peaks and mountains around Hong Kong, you might want to opt for this change of scenery, literally, in Pak Nai. The city’s only natural canyon, Pineapple Hill, gets its name from its cracked, rocky formation that resembles the crispy crust of a pineapple bun. From this vantage point in the New Territories, Pineapple Hill not only provides killer front row seats to the sunset, but you’ll also be able to see neighbouring Shenzhen in the distance.

Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls. Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Plenty of Hong Kong’s most popular hiking trails will give you stunning ocean views, but the route leading to Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls is unique in its own right. The narrow 12 km trail is mostly uphill and will eventually lead you to the Main Fall, the city’s tallest waterfall with a 35-metre drop. But along the way, starting from the foot of Tai Mo Shan in Tai Po, you’ll hit three other waterfalls, the Bottom, Middle and Scatter Falls. Expect to spend about four hours on the trail, and go prepared with a good pair of hiking boots and plenty of drinking water.

Also see: When and what to eat ahead of a race, according to sports scientists and running experts

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