This heat isn’t for everyone — if you’re looking for shaded hikes in Hong Kong, we’ve rounded up the best in-shade trails and treks to keep you out of the sun.
Though Hong Kong has a wealth of hiking trails to offer, sometimes the heat can be too much to bear, making even the shortest of hikes feel like a trek. Fortunately, our city is made up of both concrete and real jungle with plenty of shaded hiking trails to keep you cool. So if the prospect of finishing your hike in pools of sweat (or real pools) doesn’t appeal to you, why not have a go at these shaded hikes that give you all the beauty of Hong Kong’s landscape, minus the scorching heat?
Editor’s Note: Some hikes are harder than others so it’s important to be prepared. Make sure to look up the difficulty of the trail route and take necessary precautions before and during your hike (safety before Instagram!). Check the weather for high temperatures or unexpected rain, bring water, wear appropriate clothing and shoes, stay on the path and keep your mobile charged in case you need to make an emergency call.
The Peak Circle Walk
Famed for its breathtaking skyline, the sprawling mass of Hong Kong can only really be appreciated from above, which is more than feasible given the city’s mountainous terrain. Victoria Peak or The Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island and provides a stunning view of the Victorian Harbour. The path itself is sheltered by plenty of trees so you should be able to come out of the hike looking less like a tomato! For all night owls, the trail can also be enjoyed in the evenings, when the panorama of Hong Kong comes alive with dazzling luminosity.
Getting there: For the scenic route up, take the Peak Tram, which can be accessed via the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus. This is a short walk away from Exit J2 of Central MTR Station. Another option would be bus number 15 via Central Exchange Square or minibus 1 from Hong Kong MTR Station, both of which terminate at the Peak.
Distance: 3.5 km
Duration: Around 1.5 hours
Getting home: The trail is a loop and will take you back to the starting point near the Peak Tower; so you can return home the same way you arrived. Alternatively, there are also taxis situated in the public transport terminus.
The Blacks Link trail links Wan Chai Gap with Wong Nai Chung Gap. The trail itself is made up of a long uphill path, which then gradually descends down again. The hike offers beautiful views of Ocean Park, Happy Valley Racecourse and Central — all whilst being sheltered from the penetrating rays! Towards the beginning of the path are some very stunning houses (just in case admiring expensive property is your thing). If you have extra energy to use up, at the end of the trail, there’s a playground with a pagoda and a kiosk selling snacks. All in all, a perfect way to spend a Sunday with family and friends!
Getting there: Take a taxi there from Central, which would take around 15 minutes. Simply tell the taxi driver to go to Blacks Link (布力徑/Bo Lik Ging in Cantonese) — you should be able to recognise the start of the hike by signposts saying “Black’s Link”. The hike itself is very straightforward; simply follow the signs directing you towards Wan Chai Gap.
Distance: 3.5 km
Duration: 1 hour
Getting home: Simply hail a taxi back to Central or wherever it is you need to go. It might be easiest to head to Central first and then take the bus or MTR back home.
Sir Cecil’s Ride
This hike starts at Mount Butler Road and ends at the Braemar Hill shopping centre. While the shaded trail is not difficult, it consists of some steps and rocky segments. Worth packing enough water, even though it’s a short one. At the end of the hike are several restaurants and a coffee shop — plenty of incentive to get you moving!
Getting there: Take minibus 24M from Admiralty, which pretty much takes you to the start of the trail.
Distance: 3 km
Duration: 45 minutes
Getting home: At the end of the trail is a bus terminus with various options for getting back to the city. There is also the option of getting a taxi to the closest MTR, Quarry Bay station, and then heading home via train.
Tai Po Kau Nature Walk
If your navigational skills are a bit rusty, how about having a go at this guided nature walk in Tai Po Kau? Tai Po Kau is as far as a city like Hong Kong will ever come to being an actual jungle. Nestled in the forests of New Territories, it’s a nature reserve home to hundreds of species of wildlife and is an excellent excuse to get away from the commotion of urban life. Of course, if you would like to enjoy this hike free of charge, there are several walks you can take — the shortest being 3 km and the longest being 10 km. Signs and an information board mark the route so there is no danger of getting lost.
Getting there: If you are following the guided nature walk, the package includes a pick-up and drop-off point from the University East Rail MTR station. Otherwise, bus 72 can be taken either from Sha Tin or Tai Po Market East Rail stations. Alternatively, you could take a taxi from Tai Po Market East Rail Station or University East Rail Station (around $30 to $45).
Distance: 3 to 10 km depending on the trail taken
Duration: If taking the guided tour, a total of 4 hours. Otherwise, it depends on the trail you take.
Getting home: At the end of the walk is a bus station with several bus options that you can take. Most will take you to Tai Po Market East Rail station; from there you can take the train back. There are also taxis that can take you back to your desired location.
Tai Lam Forest Paths
Starting and ending at Tai Lam Country Park (Yuen Long), this hike requires you to retrace your steps back to your starting point. Luckily, this means you can hike for as short or as long as you want. However, we would recommend at least getting to the top of the hill from where you can admire the view of the Ting Kau Bridge. This hike has a butterfly garden and several picnic areas so bring your friends and pack some snaccos to ‘nosh on.
Be warned though, this path is made up of plenty of hills so it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to complete this hike after a strenuous leg day. But if you are looking to escape from Hong Kong for a day and experience the beauty of the New Territories, this is the one.
Getting there: Head to the Yuen Long MTR West Rail Station and take a taxi to Sham Tseng, Lung Yue Road. There should be a big signpost for the Tai Lam Nature Trail. Alternatively, if you have your own car, set your GPS for Tai Lam Country Park: there are several parking spots by the BBQ pits. The hike itself is relatively straightforward. Keep heading up the hill and once you reach a fork in the road, stick to the right fork.
Distance: 3 to 10km depending on what you feel like!
Duration: 1 to 3 hours depending on how long you walk for
Getting home: Get back the same way you came; by taxi to Yuen Long MTR station or to your desired location.
Editor’s Note: “The Best Shaded Hikes In Hong Kong” was originally published by Debbie Ng and most recently updated in August 2023 by Team Sassy.