Best Underrated Hike on Hong Kong Island: Wilson Trail Stage 2

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Step aside, Dragon’s Back. In the winter (whether by day or by night), Wilson Stage 2 trumps all…

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: 1/3 stars1/3 stars 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.

up on the quarries, facing Tai Tam Reservoir

up on the quarries, facing Tai Tam Reservoir

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 Wong Nai Chung Reservoir should be behind you to the right. That's my sister, btw...

the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir should be behind you to the right. That’s my sister, btw…

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Follow the signs to Jardine’s Lookout

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.

Taking a rest - one of many - on a boulder

Taking a rest – one of many – on a boulder

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.

Love history as much as I do? On your next rainy day, you can head to the Hong Kong Museum of History in East Tsim Sha Tsui. The upstairs exhibition was well laid out and interesting

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.

on Jardine's Lookout. You can picnic here if you brought food! There's a supermarket down at Parkview where you can stock up.

on Jardine’s Lookout. You can picnic here if you brought food! There’s a supermarket down at Parkview where you can stock up.

After Jardine’s Lookout, following Wilson Stage 2 and Hong Kong Stage 5, you’ll move through a quarry: more fantastic views await

the peaceful warrior : Tai Tam Reservoir in the background

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Quarry on the right

Quarry on the right

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.

what lovely views we had!

Kowloon East and One Island East (that skyscraper on the right). That’s the former Kai Tak runway/airstrip floating on the harbour…

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! ❤

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8 thoughts on “Best Underrated Hike on Hong Kong Island: Wilson Trail Stage 2

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