MacLehose Trail, Stage 5

MacLehose Trail Section 5 – Lion Rock!

  • Lion Rock overlooking Kowloon Peninsula
  • Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (former airport)
  • War Relics installed during WWII
  • Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail

Section 5 is within the boundary of the Lion Rock Country Park. Here, you can find one of the best hiking experience of all trails.

I started at the Kowloon Reservoir which can be easily reached by bus no. 72 from the Cheung Sha Wan Bus Terminus. There will be macaques in the first few kilometres of the trail, ignore them, don’t let them see any snacks and you will be fine.

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Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail

The first few kilometres overlap with the Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail and you can see plenty of signboards explaining the local vegetation, including Shiuying Bamboo (Arundinaria shiuyingiana), named after one of the most famous local botanist, Professor Hu Shiu-Ying. I must say that the vegetation here is one of the best I have seen with layers of trees growing rather healthily in this area.

After that, stone steps will lead you up to the Beacon Hill (457m), with two radar systems for air traffic control.

WWII Relics

After a short descend from the Beacon Hill, the trail will pass along some fifteen WWII relics installed before the battle of Hong Kong in 1941. There are systems of trenches, pill>boxes, tunnels and marker stones in preparation for the war. It was thought that these would delay the enemies for months during the invasion, but in reality, the city was fallen within a day without adequate forces behind. While writing, I realised that I was hiking exactly on the day  the Battle of Hong Kong began, 72 years ago on the 8th December. Regarding the Battle of Hong Kong you can read Section 6 for more information.

Kai Tak Cruise Terminal (former Airport)

At this pit of the hike, apart from war relics, you will soon have a panoramic view of the Kowloon peninsula. You will see Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, which was formerly the runway of Kai Tak Airport. Planes used to land on this strip of land just shy of 16 years ago!

Don’t forget to make a stop at the Beacon Hill Viewing Point for the illustration with the names of many places. Try to locate a long busy road with four lanes and a fly over, that’s the Waterloo Road. Then, you will find interesting buildings like Hong Kong Baptist University and the City University of Hong Kong right on the two sides.

Shatin Pass

After the gorgeous view of Kowloon, you will soon arrive at Shatin Pass which I consider the first opportunity to exit the trail. Do bear in mind that the end of Section 5 is just a continuation of Section 4 with no short cut to get to any Transport. After Shatin Pass, you will need to hike into Section 4 and exit on the left towards “Fa Sum Hang” and arrive at Kwong Yuen Estate, Shatin. It will be an additional 5.5km to get out (additional length of Section 4, trail to Fa Sum Hang and bus stop). Do consider the time needed if you want to continue.

Gilwell Campsite

I carried on my hike till the end of Section 5, but it was already dark, so I couldn’t see much or take any pictures or videos. I do have my headlamp, map, and phone with me so it was okay, but I’m not planning to do it again even for myself. You will arrive at Gilwell Camp, continue your way to Section 4 and look for the sign pointing towards “Fa Sum Hang”.

Thoughts

Overall, it was a very pleasant hike. There were plenty of signboards about the nature and history of places both of which are subjects that I adore. Obviously, the panoramic view of Kowloon was impressive especially during sunset with a clear sky and good weather. I recommend leaving the trail at Shatin Pass.

Information

  • Distance: 10.6km
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Fairly Difficult
  • Elevation: 155m/500m (min/max)
  • Pole No.: M115 to M095

Transport

  • Getting In: Bus no. 72 from the Cheung Sha Wan Bus Terminus (near Lai Chi Kok MTR Station).
  • Getting Out: Leave the trail either 1) at Shatin Pass (M101) and hike down for Wong Tai Sin MTR Station or 2) continue to hike along Section 4 until you reach a sign towards Fa Sum Hang (approx. 11km) on your left but this can be physically demanding.

Map

Video

Photos

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Panoramic View of Kowloon

Evening View of Kowloon

Evening View of Kowloon

Beacon Hill

Kowloon

Eagle’s Nest Nature Trail

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