Distance: 6.6 kilometres
Duration: 2.5 hours (but it takes a while to get to the starting point, so add half an hour or so)
Difficulty: Medium: Two significant uphill pushes, but they’re absolutely worth it.
Map: Click here
This has got to be Hong Kong Island’s best and most overlooked trail. Hong Kong Stage 8, which contains Dragon’s Back, may have won Best Urban Hiking Trail in Asia (TIME), but Wilson Sec. 2 is even better on some counts. It may not end on an amazing beach (Big Wave Bay) or have as great a view of the coast line, but Wilson Stage 2 has breath-taking views almost every step of the way: of the Hong Kong/Kowloon skyline from Jardine’s Lookout, to the old quarry on the eastern corridor, to the south coastlines of Stanley… On the other hand, HK Trail Stage 8, after the impressive first half, descends into a mediocre forest walk for the second half.
Starting Point: Hong Kong Parkview. Take bus 6 or 66 from Exchange Square in Central, Admiralty MTR, or anywhere on Queen’s Road East.
Ending Point: MTR Quarry Bay/Tai Koo Station
There are loads of hikes that start in the Parkview area, so make sure you get on the right one. Just keep going up Tai Tam Reservoir Road until you see this entrance on your left:
The first half of this trail combines with Hong Kong Trail Sec. 5, covering Jardine’s Lookout and the Quarry. These two never fail to take my breath away every time. Whether you’re doing this in the morning or at night, it’s stunning. The hike takes on an immediate uphill stretch of 433 metres, passing a war plaque which we of course read.
I neglected to take a snapshot, but the plaque told the tale of a gallant Canadian general or colonel fighting the Japanese on these hills. He kept throwing grenades back at the Japanese forces every time they hurled one at the Canadian troops, until one was hurled with only seconds left to blow. It was too late to throw it back, and in the split second the general threw himself on top of the grenade to save his soldiers.
Further reading led me to this:
In October 1941, the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were ordered to prepare for service in the Pacific… the Royal Rifles were a bilingual unit from the Quebec City are and, together with the Winnipeg Grenadiers, both battalions represented eastern and western regions of Canada.
The defence of Hong Kong was made at a great human cost. Approximately 290 Canadian soldiers were killed in battle and, while in captivity, approximately 264 more died as POWs, for a total death toll of 554. In addition, almost 500 Canadians were wounded. Of the 1,975 Canadians who went to Hong Kong, more than 1,050 were either killed of wounded: a casualty rate of more than 50%, one of the highest casualty rates of any Canadian theatre of action in WWII.
After Jardine’s Lookout, following Wilson Stage 2 and Hong Kong Stage 5, you’ll move through a quarry: more fantastic views await
And then breaking off from Hong Kong Sec. 5, instead of climbing Mount Butler you turn left. Again, it’s not difficult: just follow Wilson Stage 2.
The descent was around 30 minutes, and running down Mount Parker Road we were quickly in Quarry Bay/Tai Koo. From there you can either get an MTR home or grab a bite. Nha Trang in Tai Koo would be my choice 😉
This hike was the fourth hike I did with my sister in the span of five days. We did it on October 30 and by Halloween my legs were so painful I could hardly walk down the street, much less party!
That evening we carried on to Ocean Park Halloween Fest anyway… the unstoppable sisters haha 🙂
Happy hiking! ❤