MacLehose Trail was commenced in 1979 to promote hiking activities in Hong Kong. From hills to shores, the trail takes you to many breathtaking places of Hong Kong — there are forests, wetlands, and beaches that are just minutes away from the city. If this is the kind of Hong Kong that you have never heard of, then you are about to embark on a journey to discover the hidden treasure of this city!
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At a Glance
100km of Nature
Hong Kong is of course famous for its metropolitan landscape as the city that never sleeps — but this is only half of the story. This book is about the other half, which tugged away from the busy streets of Hong Kong!
The MacLehose Trail stretches 100km from East to West connecting six country parks that preserve some of the most pristine landscapes of Kowloon and the New Territories.
The trail is divided into ten sections in various lengths and difficulties. There are long stretches of beaches in Sai Kung (Section 1, Section 2, and Section 3), hilly landscape in Section 4, Section 5, Section 6, Section 7 and tallest peak of Hong Kong at Section 8 and easy hikes in Section 9 and Section 10 with beautiful plantation of trees to look at.
This book will give you an idea about the character of each section, what you could expect and how to plan your hike, especially Transport. I hope there will be a chance to see you along the trail and don’t forget to wave and say hi! 🙂
Get Yourself Familiar With
The trail is symbolised by the silhouette of a backpacker with one leg stepped on a rock and the hands rested on the knee and looking afar, usually facing leftward when you look at it. You will see this symbol along the trail on notice boards, distance posts and stone signs.
You will see a distance post every 500m marking the distance of the 100km MacLehose Trail from start to finish. They are at waist height with a brown pole and information plate on top. It consists of the following information:
- The MacLehose Trail Logo
- The section of the post
- Distance post number with the prefix M and a three-digit number from M001 to M200, Sai Kung to Tuen Mun accordingly.
- Grid Reference: This is the WGS84 coordinates using which you can find yourself on the map.
- The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Logo and Website.
The Distance Post Number (e.g. M033, illustrated here) is particularly useful in estimating the distance for hiking since each post is 500m apart. In an emergency, the number and the Grid Reference (e.g. KK293 796) will come in handy to indicate your whereabouts.
They are placed at junctions with maps and other information about trail conditions, such as temporary closure of sections.
Emergency helplines are located along the trail for emergency services or police stations. There are two buttons:
- The Red Button (right) — calling 999 for emergency services.
- The Green Button (left) — calling for police station.
There are three visitor centres with information about the historical, ecological and cultural aspects in relation to each country park. They usually open between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm on Monday and Wednesday to Sunday, and close on Tuesday (except Public Holidays).
- Sai Kung Country Park Visitor Centre (Section 1)
- Shing Mun Country Park Visitor Centre (Section 6)
- Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Centre (Section 8)
The ten stages of the MacLehose Trail are divided into various levels of
The ten sections of the MacLehose Trail are of various levels of difficulties, marked as Green for Easy, Amber for Fairly Difficult and Red for Difficult. Generally speaking, those that were rated Easy refer to largely flat and winding service roads. Fairly Difficult refer to rather well-paved trails with frequent ascend/descend along the hills on dirt and Difficult refers to trails with sections along the ridges of the hills with long exposure to extreme weather condition, e.g. heat from the sun and hot temperatures, which can be dangerous for hikers. As always, bring extra amount of water, wear appropriate clothing and consider protective gear for heat, sun, wind and cold.
Do make sure to check for transport, as the starting or finishing points of each section might not be conveniently connected to public transport. Make sure you also consider the time and difficulties when leaving or entering any section of the trail.
Hong Kong has a rather robust public transport system that reaches almost every corner of the city.
The metro, locally called the MTR, will get to the nearest bus or green minibus stations to each section of the MacLehose Trail. You can always use Hong Kong Station or Kowloon Station as the hub to start your journey. Alternatively, taxi is also a good option, considering how they are abundant and relatively inexpensive.
The following is the summary of the MTR Stations and the connecting transport to each section of the MacLehose Trail:
- Stage 1 and 2
- From: MTR Choi Hung Station
- To: Sai Kung Bus Terminus
- By: Bus 1A
- Stage 3 and 4
- From: MTR Shatin Station
- To: Shui Long Wo
- By: Bus no. 299X
- Stage 4 and 5
- From: MTR Wong Tai Shin Station
- To: Tsz Wan Shan Road
- By: Green Mini Buses 37A or 37M
- Stage 5 and 6
- From: MTR Lai Chi Kok Station
- To: Shek Lei Pui Reservoir
- By: Bus 72
- Stage 6 and 7
- From: MTR Tsuen Wan Station
- To: Pineapple Dam
- By: Green Mini Bus 82
- Stage 7 and 8
- From: MTR Tai Po Market
- To: Wun Yiu Road
- By: Green Mini Bus 23S
- Stage 8 and 9
- From: MTR Tsuen Wan Station
- To: Country Park (Bus Stop)
- By: Bus 51
- Stage 9 and 10
- From: MTR Long Ping Station
- To: Tai Tong
- By: K66
- Stage 10
- From: MTR Tuen Mun Station
- To: CCC Hoh Fuk Tong College
- By: Walking