Laughed at the Peak Climb? Breezed through Dragon’s Back? Well then it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and take on Hong Kong hardest hikes and trails. Located across New Territories and Hong Kong Island, there is a trail out there to challenge and thrill any dedicated climber or weekend hiker.
Stage 8 of the Maclehose Trail – Tai Mo Shan Mountain
Duration: around 4-5 hours
Stage eight is great-tly difficult as a hike (does that rhyme work?) Tai Mo Shan is located smack bang in the middle of New Territories and the piece-de-resistance of the NT hiking scene. Many travellers to Hong Kong mistakenly think that The Peak on Hong Kong island is the tallest mountain, and you are right to laugh at them because sitting at an elevation of 957m Tai Mo Shan towers over the measly 554m of the Peak. This hike is surprisingly tricky, especially in the summer months with humidity creating a nice sticky walking environment, but the hike is definitely worth it for the view alone. If you’re looking to tackle more of the Maclehose, head here.
Beginning from Twisk Management Centre, this hike begins with a steady uphill climb along well-maintained paved steps towards the Tai Mo Shan Country Visitor Centre (aka. the recovery zone). Here, you will begin the actual climb of the mountain from marker M152, but be careful to look out for Maclehose markers and it can be easy to stray and end up on a random road somewhere. On this delightfully exhausting climb, keep an eye out for the two radar installations at the top of the hill and a spectacular view of Tsing Ma Bridge, Tsing Yi, and the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals (the container cranes kind of look like giant, mechanical giraffes from this distance).
Close to the entrance to the radar stations, you’ll find yourself smack bang in the middle of nature again as you begin to travel towards Lead Mine Pass. This time, you’ll be descending along the paved paths instead on ascending (bliss!) towards the Lead Mine Pass camping grounds. Here you will find BBQ pits, toilets, picnic tables, and a place to rest your weary feet.
To get to the start of this trail, take Bus 51 from Tsuen Wan West Station or Tsuen Wan Station and alight at Country Park. This bus is hourly, so try to schedule as such and prepare.
At the end of this trail at Lead Mind Pass, hike along Wilson trail for 2km down and take the 23K Green Minibus to Tai Po Market MTR Station.
Distance: 15km ish
Duration: 6 – 7 hours
Sharp Peak, aka Nam She Tsim which literally means Hill of Snakes, is a tough climb but worth it for lovers of nature. Known for it’s winding paths, wildlife, and steep climbs, this hike is another one to add to your challenging hike list. If you’re planning on travelling out to Sai Kung for a climb, this is one not to miss.
Begin by taking a taxi from Sai Kung to the easternmost part of High Island Reservoir. Once you spot the principal dam and pavilion, start heading left until you see signs and markers declaring the start of the trail. This hike will take you first to Long Ke Beach, a popular spot for campers and day-picnickers a like. It’s also a good spot to have a quite bite to eat before the climb, but make sure to take your rubbish with you when you leave. Along the trail, you’ll find yourself merging with another hiking trail that comes from Sai Kung and is a much easier option for those regretting the hike. Continue down the left path until you reach Sai Wan Village and Sai Wan Beach where you will begin the second portion of the hike. Make sure to restock with water, food, sunscreen, and anything else you think you’ll need for the trail.
Continuing along, you’ll encounter Ham Tin Beach where you’ll find a post with signs pointing to Sharp Peak. This is the beginning of the steep 2km almost vertical climb followed by another 2km steep descent back to your current location. If you’re out of energy, you can simply head back along the way you came but if you have some aching for a little adventure then you will be rewarded with some of the best photo-ops in Sai Kung. The top of the peak gives you a clear view of Plover Cove Reservoir, Mirs Bay, Grass Island, and other outlying islands in the distance. These locations are also ideal camping spots, if you’re thinking about camping then have a skim of our guide to these grounds.
Take a short cab ride from Sai Kung to the start of the trail. Its a restricted area so no buses are allowed. To get home, continue down the Maclehose section until you reach M042. Take the stairs on the right that take you down towards the bay and follow the path to the pier, where you will find boats to Wong Shek Pier. It costs around $150 for a boat, so if you’re looking to save some cash then hang around and wait for other hikers so you can split the cost.
Wilson’s Trail Section 1: Violet Hill and The Twins
Time: Around 3 hours
Although this hike is the shortest on our list, do not be fooled in to thinking that this is an easy climb. With no refreshment stations along the way and exhausting and winding trails, this climb is no picnic. Located on Hong Kong island, this small trail will have you skipping cardio classes for the next week just so you can recover.
Begin the hike at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, which literally means yellow-ish muddy creek, and make sure to check out people pedal boating and relaxing by the water. Continue along the path to Tai Tam Reservoir for around 3 minutes until you reach Hong Kong Parkview (you can’t miss it). You’ll begin to see markers for Wilson Trail Section 1 and Stanley Section. This is where you begin your journey. The steps at the start through a tunnel of trees is kind of like the warmup section for the adventure ahead, it’s about a 15 minute ascent and opens up into a large open area with gorgeous views of Tai Tam Reservoir. You’ll also be treated to some super cute butterflies, dragonflies, and violets after which the trail gets it’s name.
Continue along to Tze Kong Bridge, and afterwards you’ll see a sign directing you to Stanley Gap Road and the infamous “Thousand Steps”. There’s not actually 1,000 steps but this section earned it’s name because it can feel like there are more than 1,000 steps and that you’ll never reach the top. When you do though, puffing and panting, you will be gifted with a sweeping view of Tai Tam Bay, Bluff Head, and Stanley.
This hike ends with a staggering descent down Stanley Gap Road. This steep path is a great opportunity to spot St Stephen’s Beach, Stanley Peninsular and Main Beach, and the Murray House. End the hike with a cool beer on the beer and a sit down for a while.
To take a bus, catch the number 6 from Central Exchange Square Bus Terminus, the 76 from Causeway Bay Pennington Street, or the 41A or 63 from North Point. Otherwise, you can catch the 5 minibus from exit D at Causeway Bay MTR to Wong Nai Chung Gap Reservoir.
From any bus, alight at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park bus stop on Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. From the petrol station, head across the road and start walking up Tai Tam Reservoir Road.
Or, catch a taxi from Central which will cost around $70.
To get home by bus, head to the bus terminal at Stanley Gap Road and take bus number 6, 6A or 260 from to Wan Chai, Admiralty and Central; or 73 to Aberdeen.
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Laughed at the Peak Climb? Breezed through Dragon’s Back? Well then it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and take on Hong Kong hardest hikes and trails. Located across New Territories and Hong Kong Island, there is a trail out there to challenge and thrill any dedicated climber or weekend hiker. …