There’s no need to leave your pup at home when you head for the hills — these dog-friendly hikes in Hong Kong are perfect for the both of you.
Forget morning trips to concrete-laden dog parks and walking on the roads this weekend, we’re taking to the hills and letting our doggos run free with these top dog-friendly Hong Kong hikes. While we sadly can’t pop on public transport to get there, an additional $5 in a taxi is a small price to pay for slobbery chops and wagging tails! Just make sure to bring enough water for you both (and keep your eye out for signs of overheating — we all know how unforgiving Hong Kong’s weather can be!) and keep note of these pup-friendly cafes and restaurants for a treat after completing your trail.
Sassy Tip: By Hong Kong law, all dogs over 20kg must be on a leash of not more than two metres when in public places, however when in the country parks dogs are allowed to run freely and large dogs are not required to be leashed!
Countless Hong Kongers climb Dragon’s Back, pup in tow, every weekend. And while it does get super crowded mid-morning, we’d suggest hopping in a cab with your dog and getting to the start of the trail early, so that you can avoid the hoards of tourists and avid hikers and instead spend some quality time with man’s best friend. Depending on which direction you opt to start from, you can end at Shek O Beach, while you both cool off in the waves. The hike provides some shaded areas, with the highest points of the “dragon’s back” providing much-needed and cooling winds.
Distance: Approximately 8.5 km (depending on which route you take!)
Duration: Roughly 4 hours
Getting there: Take a taxi or a drive to Shek O Road near Tei Wan Village and keep an eye out for the signs that signal the start of the hike!
Pineapple Dam Nature Trail – Tai Shing Stream
Less than an hour’s walk, the hike to Pineapple Dam Nature Trail is perfect for pups who struggle in the heat or for those who are looking for a shorter adventure. Climb the stairs by the minibus station, and follow the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail sign, heading right as you reach the top of the stairs. There’s a cute picnic/barbecue area about 30 minutes into the walk from here if you’re ready for a spot of lunch (and a game of fetch), otherwise carry on walking on the road towards the bridge that will take you to Tai Shing Stream (access is on the left of the bridge). This is a great spot for a dip before heading back the way you came but if your doggo is a big fan of water, you can continue to trek in the stream for about an hour and a half, where you’ll eventually come to the end of the first half of the hike, an ideal spot to chill out in the sunshine and swim.
Distance: To Pineapple Dam Nature Trail – 0.8km; to Tai Shing Stream a further 1.2km
Duration: About 30 minutes – one hour to Pineapple Dam (depending on your pace) and a further 1.5 hours to the stream, if you’re keen to keep going.
Getting there: Take a taxi or drive to Shing Mun Reservoir. The start of the hike is by the minibus station, up the steps and to the right.
Note: Keep an eye on your dog and be careful that it doesn’t drink water from the stream since they may contain leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause severe kidney damage and possible death.
Jardine’s Lookout & Mount Butler
Located near eastern Wan Chai, this 2.5-hour hike is a good challenging hike (after you reach Jardine’s Lookout, the slope becomes more gentle) for you and your pup, ending in Quarry Bay. Your reward? Absolutely breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula plus some beautiful scenery along the way. With the popular Hong Kong Trail and Wilson Trail passing through the two hilltops, the point-to-point trail is often heavily trafficked. Make sure you bring enough water for you and your furry friend as there are no refill stations throughout the trail.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Getting there: Take bus 6 or 66 from Central or Admiralty to Wong Nai Chung Gap and walk approximately 15 minutes uphill through Wong Nai Chung Reservoir on Tai Tam Reservoir Road to Parkview. Look for a sign indicating Jardine’s Lookout.
Plover Cove Country Park (Bride’s Pool to Lai Chi Wo)
Folk legends spin the tale of a bride passing the pools in a sedan chair on the way to meet her groom, when the carriers slipped and she was washed away; the spooky aside, Bride’s Pool is the perfect spot for a dip with your furry friend. Start your hike from Bride’s Pool Nature Trail and follow the path that winds over the stream until you come to the waterfall. Spend as long as you like frolicking in the stream here, or if you’re keen to get a long hike in, keep going on the path and through bamboo groves until you reach Wu Kau Tang village. Keep going past Sam A Wan village on your way to Lai Tau Shek and enjoy the grassy lakes that surround the area.
Keep to the signs and hike for a further 45 minutes to Lai Chi Wo, where you can then climb the stairs at the entrance to the village. We’d suggest keeping your pup on a leash as you walk through, and keep your eye out for local village dogs, which could potentially be guarding their territory, as well as small animals that live in the area. If you’re up for the trek, Lai Chi Wo is pretty special, known for its 400-year-old Hakka village, a designated Site of Special Science Interest, and an ecological wonderland.
Distance: Approximately 7.5km
Duration: 3 hours
Getting there: Located in northeastern New Territories (near Tai Mei Tuk), take a taxi to Bride’s Pool Road and start your hike from the clearly marked signs, ‘Bride’s Pool Nature Trail.’ To get home, check the times for the ferry service between Ma Liu Shui and Lai Chi Wo which runs on Sundays and public holidays.
Note: Keep an eye on your dog and be careful that it doesn’t drink water from the pools since they may contain leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause severe kidney damage and possible death.
Read More: The Best Waterfall Hikes In Hong Kong
Aberdeen Country Park – Hong Kong Trail Section Four
There are plenty of different paths to take in Aberdeen Country Park; you may well find it best to just start exploring and head back when you’re ready. But one hike we like in particular is Lady Clementi’s Ride (Hong Kong Trail Section Four). Offering incredible views of Aberdeen Reservoir, the hike is predominately shaded as you skirt around it, making it an ideal hike for you and your dog even when it’s a little hotter. The trail takes you deep into the forests of Wan Chai Gap, eventually winding its way up to Mount Cameron up on The Peak. When you reach Black’s Link, follow the road down to Wong Nai Chung Road, where the hike will eventually come to an end at the junction of Wong Nai Chung Gap Road and Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Road.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Getting there: Take a taxi or drive to Wan Chai Gap and walk along Aberdeen Reservoir Road for about 15 minutes until you reach the starting point.
Note: The walk uphill from Middle Gap Road to Black’s Link (approx. 15 minutes) provides little shade, so be sure to bring lots of water for your dog and take regular breaks if needed.
Read More: The Best Shaded Hikes In Hong Kong
Lamma Island (Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan)
Brimming with quirky cafés and plenty of craft beer huts, start your weekend off on the right paw and hike from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan (or vice versa!). A leisurely stroll across the island, stop for a drink at one of the dog-friendly restos along the way or cool off at Power Station Beach while your pup burns off some energy on the sand. There isn’t a huge amount of shade along the way, so be sure to start earlier in the morning, aiming to reach Sok Kwu Wan around lunchtime where you can then dig into a feast of fried rice, sweet and sour chicken and fresh seafood. Many of the restaurants are happy for your dog to join you so grab a table, a cold beer and a few dog biscuits before heading back to Central.
Distance: Approximately 5km
Duration: Between one and two hours depending on your (and your dog’s) pace
Getting there: Take a ferry from Central Pier 4 to Yung Shue Wan, bearing in mind that dogs are only allowed on the slow ferry as “cargo”, which means that you’ll need to check which times these depart, as they aren’t as frequent. From Yung Shue Wan Main Street, walk past Lamma Winds and Hung Shing Yeh Beach and you come to the start of the Family Trail.
Note: Dogs are required by law to wear a muzzle on the ferry, so be sure to take one with you. Tickets for dogs will need to be bought separately and occasionally you will need to board via cargo access rather than the main gate – this can easily be checked with the staff, however!
Violet Hill/The Twins
This hike is guaranteed to tire out an excited pup and have you more than ready for lunch while working on your own fitness game. Start by taking the sign-posted stairs at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and climb Violet Hill. You’ll be rewarded with sweeping valley views along the way, with plenty of bushes for your pup to duck into for a while if the sun gets intense. This is a great trail for dogs to run off leash as there is only one path all the way to the start of The Twins. Call it quits here and make your way to Repulse Bay for some well-deserved grub, or face the start of The Twins (and 1,000 steps) and end in Stanley.
Duration: Approx 3 hours (including The Twins)
Getting there: Take a taxi to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir to start the hike at Violet Hill.
Hong Kong Country Club to Deep Water Bay & Repulse Bay
This fenced-in walk along the seafront promenade is great for a weekend morning. As the path is largely enclosed, dogs can walk freely off their leads. The path is never too busy, save for some runners and other dog walkers! We like to start the walk from Hong Kong Country Club and walk down past Deep Water Bay and onto Repulse, but the walk can also be done in reverse, starting from Repulse and walking back towards the Country Club to grab a taxi home. The walk is perfect for smaller dogs or dogs that can’t go too far as the path is totally flat, but it’s worth noting that there isn’t much shade to keep you cool in hot weather.
Distance: 1.7km to Deep Water Bay and an additional 3.7km to reach Repulse Bay Promenade
Duration: 20 minutes to Deep Water Bay and a further 40 minutes if continuing on to Repulse Bay
Getting there: Take a taxi to Hong Kong Country Club and walk along the pavement towards Mills and Chung Path which leads to Deep Water Bay.
Read More: The Best Beaches In Hong Kong
Other Dog-Friendly Hikes In Hong Kong
- The Peak – If you’re short on time, or fancy a quick burst of adrenalin, take your pup up to the Peak. It’s just a short uphill climb to those stunning views at the top!
- Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail – Mostly shaded, the path is located inside Lion Rock Country Park and will take just 1.5 hours from start to finish, making it a great option for when you’re looking to get a little exercise without overheating.
- Tung Lung Chau Hiking Trail – If you’re looking for an adventurous weekend away from the hustle and bustle, this trail boasts one of the city’s best camping sites that is both remote, quiet and ideal for the pup.
- Hong Kong Country Club to Deep Water Bay & Repulse Bay – This fenced-in walk along the seafront promenade is great for a weekend morning. As the path is largely enclosed, dogs can walk freely off their leads.
Editor’s Note: “The Best Hikes in Hong Kong to Do With Your Dog” was most recently updated by Team Sassy in September 2023. With thanks to Lexi Davy for her contribution.