Header image courtesy of Chester Ho (via Unsplash)
Originally published by Sophie Pettit. Last updated by Enoch Ngan.
Getting fit doesn’t have to be a chore when you have the beautiful scenery of Hong Kong’s hiking trails at your fingertips—or rather, footsteps. From gentle jaunts to more challenging mountain trails, there are dozens of hiking routes dotted around Hong Kong and its outlying islands that offer you breathtaking views of the great outdoors. Don’t wait for the New Year to get in better shape; head to the hills now!
With hiking remaining one of the most popular activities amongst Hongkongers, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding a companion or two to join you on your adventure. Having said that, you will never be short of enthusiastic hikers in the Hong Kong Hiking Meetup group, which is the largest organised hiking group in the city with more than 15,000 current members.
The group offers a large number of hikes and other activities, such as bushwhacking and stream trekking, nearly every day of the year, so you can enjoy the benefits of getting regular exercise alongside like-minded people. Almost all of the meet-ups are free of charge and cater to all levels, from “easy” to “extremely hard,” meaning there is something for everyone, whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner. Take the first step and join the group.
You’ve gathered your friends together, and now you need to pick your hiking trail. Lucky for us, there are a plethora of handy websites and forums dedicated to sharing tips on where to find the most enjoyable hiking routes and get the best views of our wonderful city and its natural surroundings. The Hong Kong Tourism Board has dozens of suggested routes spanning deserted beaches, reservoirs, and outlying islands to give you a variety of spectacular views and a range of landscapes to suit every mood. They even have some helpful safety tips and emergency contact numbers for you to take along the way, so you know that help is always at hand—or foot!
Fancy a bit of history with your hike? Then Walk Hong Kong has the perfect solution for you. The organisation has been offering guided hiking tours since 2003, where an experienced guide will take you to some of Hong Kong’s most unpopulated and pristine areas, as well as discover relics of WWII and bird-watching sites. The hikes cater to all tastes and fitness levels and aim to provide you with local knowledge and experiences that enhance your understanding of Hong Kong. Hikes cost around $800 per person and include transport. Click here to check the schedule and pick your guided hike.
You can always count on a trusty app to be your hiking companion. The popular free mobile app TrailWatch allows you to plan and share hiking tracks with your buddies and is designed to add an interesting twist to your journey, all in the name of conservation. Users can record any incidents that they see while out hiking or walking around the city such as landslides, waste dumping, and vandalism, and then share this on the TrailWatch website and Facebook page for organisations to take action. So as well as counting how many calories you burn along your way, you can rest assured that you are helping to keep Hong Kong beautiful. Download the app on Android or iPhone, grab your hiking boots, and head out into the great outdoors. Just make sure you fully charge your phone before you set off!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the information you need about hiking in one easy-to-reach place? Produced by Discover Hong Hong, Your Guide to Hiking & Cycling in Hong Kong is a free resource to plan your hiking adventure. With maps, photos, case studies, and handy tips dotted through the 60-page guide, you can plan whatever hike you fancy in Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, and the Outlying Islands. The book event points out the best spots to take a photo as well as recommenced cycling routes and guided walks.