As a bustling metropolitan city, you may not think of Hong Kong as a runner’s paradise. Much of Hong Kong’s terrain is dominated by hilly to mountainous steep slopes. Almost half of the remaining land area is reserved as country parks and nature reserves. The UNESCO listed the Hong Kong National Geopark as part of its Global Geoparks Network in 2011.
But did you know there are plenty of trails where you can escape the daily grind and commune with nature during your daily jog? Here are just 10 amazing places to go for a run in Hong Kong.
1. Waterfall Bay Park
Location: The coast of the Wah Fu Estate
Who wouldn’t want to experience a place called Waterfall Bay? Named for the brilliant waterfall nestled in the pine woods of Waterfall Bay Park, this trail offers a simple but picturesque run through one of the loveliest areas in Hong Kong. You’ll pass everyone from dog-walkers to senior citizens playing chess, and when you’re done, you’ll be in front of a beautiful waterfall that cascades into a glittering collection of pebbles, rocks and coins.
2. Hong Kong Trail
Location: Starts at Lugard Road
The Hong Kong Trail is divided into stages, so it isn’t actually as difficult as it appears on paper. That said, it’s still best left to experienced runners due to its zig-zagging paths and up-and-down slopes. You’ll need to be in good shape to handle 50km of dirt, asphalt, hills and stairs, but as regulars on the trail will tell you, the challenge makes it all worth it.
3. Bowen Road
Location: Near Stubbs and Magazine Gap Road
Perfect for an early morning jog, Bowen Road is calm, peaceful and scenic. This is because of its “car-free” policy that keeps all the sounds and smells of traffic at a distance. Wanchai will still bustle all around you, but you’ll enjoy its activity from shaded streets and relatively flat terrain. If you’re looking for a quiet place to pound the pavement and simply be, Bowen Road is your best bet.
4. Victoria Road
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Near Kennedy Town
Victoria Road offers a moderately difficult run through beautiful sights that will distract you from your pounding heart. You’ll start on pavement in Kennedy Town and eventually make your way around mountains, beaches and waterfalls as you travel further away from the city. When you finish, you can relax in the sands of Aberdeen or even loop back for a 12km run. It all depends on how much you enjoyed those waterfront views.
5. The Peak
Location: Lugard Road to Harlech Road
What if you don’t want to run through the wilderness? What if you want to actually see Hong Kong during your daily exercise? Try running along the Peak, a 3.5km loop that will give you breathtaking views of the city’s most impressive architecture. Not only will you pass everything from towers to skyscrapers, but you’ll also steadily slope upwards until you reach the titular Peak, the single highest point in Hong Kong.
6. Mount Davis Path
Location: Beginning at Pok Fu Lam Road
There are several ways to enjoy the Mount Davis Path, but all roads lead to the top of the summit. The good news is that it’s much, much easier to climb this mountain than you’d think; people from all over the city use it as a getaway and go hiking, biking or just exploring. If you’re a fan of simple, easy-to-read trails and wonderful aerial views, you won’t want to miss the Mount Davis Path.
7. MacLehose Trail
Location: Beginning in Pak Tam Chung
This is another trail divided into sections, so don’t fret about running the entire 100km all at once. You’ll need to be physically fit, however, to manage most of them. They’ll take you on a journey through some of Hong Kong’s wildest underbrush, travelling up and down hills, mountains and reservoirs. If you can manage it, it’s a run that will give you bragging rights for the rest of your life.
8. Ma On Shan Promenade
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Ma On Shan
Offering gorgeous views of Tolo Harbour, this walkway is a favourite of joggers, cyclists, skateboarders and even tai chi enthusiasts. You’ll need to weave through the crowds as you run, but you can also draw energy from the sheer life of all the people around you. On a fogless day, you can even look across the Harbour and see all eight peaks of Pat Sing Leng.
9. Ng Tung Chai Waterfall
Difficulty: Moderate to hard
Location: Ng Tung Chai Village
The trail going to and from Ng Tung Chai is a beautiful one. You’ll start by passing villages and Taoist temples, and then you’ll go deeper and deeper into the heart of nature until you reach the 100m waterfall, one of Hong Kong’s tallest and an absolutely stunning sight. Can you handle it?
10. Wilson Trail
Location: Beginning in Stanley
Another long-distance footpath in Hong Kong, Wilson Trail is notable for cutting through a variety of parks, forests and mountains. It’s the real deal when it comes to escaping the city, so much so that runners are advised not to carry open food with them in case the long-tailed macaques are feeling hungry! They’re peaceful monkeys, however, and they’ll cheer you along every step of the way of the Wilson Trail.
Hong Kong, Asia’s World City
These are just 10 of the most amazing trails in Hong Kong. There are many more, of course, and you probably have a few favourites of your own. Where do you like to run in Hong Kong?