Hiking in Hong Kong: MacLehose Trail Stage 5

This past weekend, I went hiking in Hong Kong, or more specifically, MacLehose Trail Stage 5. While many come to Hong Kong to visit Asia’s “skyscraper and lights” capital, Hong Kong offers unparalleled beauty in terms of natural landscape, flora and fauna a stone’s throw away. Even fitness enthusiasts will find happiness here; Hong Kong is host to a plethora of events that appeal to even the most hardcore of hikers, including a 100 km, ultra-athlete trail event. On the hike, you’ll run into people from all walks of life, from the amateur enthusiast to the hardcore dudes running the whole thing. You’ll also come across a number of animals, including snakes (not often but do be careful), monkeys, cows, etcetera. Stage 5 culminates with a trip to the top of a hill called Lion’s Rock, which provides a great lookout over the New Territories of Hong Kong.

Here’s a good breakdown of all the stages of the MacLehose trails:

Stage Route Length (km) Time (hr) Difficulty
1 Pak Tam ChungLong Ke 10.6 3.0 1/3 stars
2 Long KePak Tam Au 13.5 5.0 2/3 stars
3 Pak Tam AuKei Ling Ha 10.2 4.0 3/3 stars
4 Kei Ling HaTai Lo Shan 12.7 5.0 3/3 stars
5 Tai Lo ShanTai Po Road 10.6 3.0 2/3 stars
6 Tai Po RoadShing Mun 4.6 1.5 1/3 stars
7 Shing MunLead Mine Pass 6.2 2.5 2/3 stars
8 Lead Mine PassRoute Twisk 9.7 4.0 2/3 stars
9 Route TwiskTin Fu Tsai 6.3 2.5 1/3 stars
10 Tin Fu TsaiTuen Mun 15.6 5.0 1/3 stars

1/3 stars Easy Walk

2/3 stars Fairly Difficult

3/3 stars Very Difficult

A couple Hong Kong hiking tips:

  1. Make sure you come prepared. It seems common sense, but you’ll see Hong Kongers trekking up and down the hills in jeans and sweaters, especially in the winter. Don’t take this to mean this is social commentary on the difficult of these hikes. Bring excess water, as the distance between some checkpoints can be lengthy, very remote and demanding.
  2. If you are pressed for time or do not have access to a car, make sure you use a good amount of time buffer in your schedule. For some of the trails like MacLehose 5, transportation will rarely take you to the start of the trail, so there may be some pre-travel to get to the trail required. For our trip, it involved a 20 minute hike + 2 hour hike on the Wilson Trail before we finally got to our destination.
  3. Don’t go too late. Once it gets dark, there are NO lights out there. Try to hit some of the longer hikes before noon.


Other Resources:

Hong Kong Hiking – Not the prettiest website, but a great compendium of HK hikes.
Meetup Hiking in Hong Kong – In case you’re new to HK and in need of hiking buddies.
Top 10 (opinion) Trails in Hong Kong

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