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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/doctorho

6 Accessible city hikes on Hong Kong Island

We round up a list of accessible hikes scattered around the hilly side of Hong Kong Island.

Edited by
Time Out editors
Catharina Cheung
Written by
Andrea Wong

Autumn is here and the weather is now infinitely more suitable for traipsing around outdoors than during our sultry summers, but the idea of commuting all the way to somewhere rural for a hike – not to mention the journey back home – can be off-putting. If you’re anything like us and often find it hard to even crawl out of bed on the weekends, we’ve got just what you need. Here’s a list of accessible city hikes scattered around the hilly side of Hong Kong Island.

RECOMMENDED: Want to check off some of Hong Kong’s must-hikes, we’ve outlined our favourites with tips and directions to help you on your way.

City hikes on Hong Kong Island

The Morning Trail

There’s nothing that epitomises Hong Kong more than starting out in the heart of the city and being on top of a mountain in just about an hour. The Morning Trail, which takes you up to Victoria Peak, does just that. If you start from Central instead of Sai Ying Pun, you’ll also be able to experience two of Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks in one go: the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system and the fantastic views of Victoria Harbour. This makes the Morning Trail the perfect hike for newcomers to the city.

The trail is a steady uphill slope but not strenuous at all. Shortly after passing the old Victoria City Boundary Stone, take the left turning on the trail to stay on Hatton Road. When the upward incline levels out, you can either turn left onto Lugard Road or right onto Harlech Road – it doesn’t really matter because this is the Peak Fitness Trail, which is a loop that leads back to The Peak Galleria and The Peak Tower anyway. Enjoy the amazing views along the way, without having to jostle with the tourists at the more popular viewing points near the mall.

Distance: 4.5 km

Directions: Start the hike at the very top of the Mid-Levels Escalator, turning right on Conduit Road. A 15- to 20-minute walk along the pleasant residential area of Mid-Levels will take you to Hatton Road – the actual start of the Lung Fu Shan Morning Trail is at the end of Hatton. From The Peak, bus 15 or minibus 1 will take you back down to Central.

Mount Butler Road to Red Incense Burner Summit

People often say “no pain, no gain”, but this hike is definitely minimal pain and maximum gain. The Red Incense Burner Summit is probably the best viewpoint that overlooks both sides of the Victoria Harbour, especially during sunset hour. It’s also easy on your feet and shoes as the majority of this hike is on paved roads – perfect for a family hike on the weekends.

Enter the hike via Mount Butler Road, as it merges onto Sir Cecil’s Ride, and continue until you see a sign on your left that leads you to the Red Incense Burner Summit. Once you get there, you’ll probably recognise the view as this is a hot spot for capturing Hong Kong’s skyline. What’s best about this hike is that there are many unnamed viewpoints you can safely veer off to and check out the view from different angles on various large boulders!

Distance: 3 km

Directions: Take minibus 24M from Admiralty MTR Station and alight at Mount Butler Block C and D to begin your hike. When you finish the hike, you can either return the way you came or make your way to the Braemar Hill bus terminal, which takes around five minutes to reach and is right outside Chinese International School and St Joan of Arc Secondary school.


Wan Chai to Aberdeen Reservoir

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This is the perfect hike for you if you’re up for a spontaneous, last-minute adventure. The hike is well-connected to the heart of Hong Kong Island with a plethora of public transport that can take you to and fro. You can enter the hike through Wan Chai Gap Road, which eventually merges with the Bowen Road Fitness Trail, before continuing on the Wan Chai Green Trail. When you reach the Wan Chai Gap Park, take a moment to catch your breath.

Set off again along Mount Cameron Road, and look out for signposts directing you to the Aberdeen Country Park. Once you reach the Aberdeen Upper Reservoir, you’ll see a straight path ahead that goes across the dam, offering you a breathtaking view of the surrounding greenery. This trail is steep but relatively straightforward – just don’t forget to take a water bottle with you.

Distance: 6.1 km

Directions: Take exit D to Lee Tung Avenue at Wan Chai MTR Station, then head to Hopewell Centre. Go up to the 17th floor and exit onto Kennedy Road. Walk left, and you’ll reach Wan Chai Gap Road, where your journey begins.

Cape D’Aguilar (Hok Tsui)

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This hike will let you bask in the ambience of nature, and though there’s not so much greenery, there’s definitely a lot of rocks, caves, and water. If you’re familiar with Dragon’s Back, going to Cape D’Aguilar will be easy for you as they’re along the same bus route. This hike is also mostly paved so it’s more of an adventure walk instead of a full-on hike.

Explore the Cape D’Aguilar Marine Reserve, one of the six marine parks and reserves in Hong Kong, and keep an eye out for a hidden (and quite slippery) pathway that leads you to the Instagram-famous ‘Thunder Cave’. Take some pictures and enjoy the serene sounds of waves crashing onto the rocks. There’s also another equally Insta-worthy spot, Crab Cave, named after its arch-shaped structure.

End your pleasant journey by checking out the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse, a declared monument named after Sir George Charles D’Aguilar, a former commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong. If you’re looking for a picturesque and relaxing hike, this is the one for you.

Distance: 8 km (round trip)

Directions: Take the A3 exit at Shau Kei Wan MTR Station and hop onto bus 9 to Shek O via Cape D’Aguilar. Get off at Cape D’Aguilar Road bus stop and walk along the paved road through Hok Tsui Tsuen that will lead you to the first viewpoint. 


Twin Peaks and Violet Hill

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This hiking route starts from Wilson Trail within Tai Tam Country Park, leading into Deepwater Bay, Repulse Bay, and finally, Stanley. Watch the scenic views of beaches, greenery, mountains, and skyscrapers trickle in and out of sight along the way.

If you’re looking to go the extra mile and challenge yourself, take the difficult route by entering Twin Peaks via Tai Tam Country Trail. Though this option does not require any rock climbing skills, the 1,200 steps up to the top of The Twins is definitely a taxing leg and glutes workout, so we’d only recommend this option if you’re not an absolute beginner and have good stamina – and absolutely not under hot weather during the summer.

Distance: 4.8 km

Directions: Take buses 6, 41A, 76, 63, or 66 to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park and alight at the Sinopec petrol station. Walk up the short flight of steps that leads to Tai Tam Reservoir Road, continue uphill and enter Wilson Trail to begin the hike.

Rhino Rock Trail

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If you’re looking for a short yet fun-packed hike, Rhino Rock Trail ticks all the boxes. You’ll get to enjoy the full hiking experience as there's a decent amount of weaving and bush-whacking before reaching the top (watch out for colourful ribbons left by previous hikers to help you navigate). This trail is also extremely time-savvy, as you’re likely to be done within 30 minutes – with maybe 30 more for pictures and just enjoying the stunning view.

The turquoise coastline you’ll see after emerging from the bushes will make you feel as though you’re on a tropical island. And of course, the highlight of the whole trail is the surreal rock formation that looks like a rhinoceros. Just be careful and don't perform any dangerous stunts just for an Instagram op!

Distance: 2 km

Direction: Take bus 14 from Sai Wan Ho MTR Station or bus 6A from Central Exchange Square. Get off at Stanley Bus Fort, which is where the bus stops. Begin your adventure from the gated security entrance with steps leading up.

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