Life in Hong Kong can be stressful, what with the frenetic pace of life and the constant crowds. However, the city’s unique landscape offers a chance to escape the hustle-bustle, to immerse oneself in the tranquil pleasures of nature.
For within easy reach of Central, are a few hiking and walking trails, ideal for a morning stroll or an energizing wake-up walk with the dog.
The Morning Trail
The Morning Trail, a much-favored hike in Hong Kong ascends to the Peak and circles the track there offering 180-degree views of Hong Kong harbor awakening.
The trail can be accessed in different directions, for instance you can choose to ascend the trail from within the mid-levels, through the junction of Hatton Road and Kotewal Road near the University of Hong Kong or then if you are coming from Central, you can ride the Central Mid-Levels escalator to Conduit Road and walk on until it reaches leafy Kotewall Road. From here, you have to walk up Hatton Road to access the Morning Trail.
This green route guides walkers to Pinewood Battery, a historically significant verdant area that hosts relics of old forts. These ancient structures once served as a line of defense for ships passing through Victoria Harbor.
The trail continues over a steep flight of steps back to where Lugard Road joins Harlech Road, a gateway that leads on to Hong Kong’s landmark attraction, the Peak, atop Victoria Peak. Here you can take a break as you grab a bite or a drink at the many eateries at the Peak Galleria.
The climb takes approximately just over an hour, as it meanders alongside leafy slopes, bamboo groves, patches of green dotted with wildflowers, frolicking butterflies and small streams. The delight of this splendid ramble through nature is further enhanced by the gorgeous views it offers, of sights like the Victoria Harbor, the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, Lamma Island and beyond.
An alternative way to explore the Morning Trail is to embark on a downhill walk from near the Peak Tram station. Begin your walk at Harlech Road continue down steep Lugard Road, which encircles the Peak while affording undulating views of Hong Kong’s magnificent Victoria Harbor and the coveted residential enclave of the mid-levels.
Moving along past Pinewood Battery, you will arrive at the lush environs of the Hatton Road fitness trail, descending further will bring you to its junction with Kotewall Road, from where you can continue walking down to the mid-levels or Central.
The Bowen Road Fitness Trail
Yet another immensely popular walking/jogging trail of the mid-levels is a four kilometer long stretch, the Bowen Road Fitness Trail. This trail is popular with walkers, joggers and even mummies with baby strollers and can be accessed from several approaches as well.
One option is to enter from the intersection of Garden and Robinson Road, in the central section of the mid levels while other options include using the entrances to the trail from Stubbs Road in the eastern mid-levels or then if you are very fit and energetic, walking up the precipitous Wan Chai Gap Road.
This flat, shady walking path is carved out of the hillside and encompasses various points of interest like the Bowen Road Park and Lover’s Rock (Yan Yuen-Suk). The path affords gorgeous views of Central, the mid-levels and Happy Valley and can be easily navigated by fitness lovers of all ages. Quirky exercise stations and small religious shrines dot the length of the trail, which also hosts restroom facilities, seating areas and small patches of green perfect for Tai chi sessions.
Do you adore nature but yet want to be based in the heart of the city, rather than in the boondocks? Then the luxury residential specialists, Engel &Völkers suggest that that the mid-levels area maybe an ideal housing choice for you and are happy to offer an expansive portfolio of appropriate apartments in the area of every size.
Frequent forays to Hong Kong’s popular fitness trails will undoubtedly revitalize and rejuvenate not only your body but also your mind and soul.