I go to Hong Kong quite often so I've pretty much been to all the tourist traps. Since I usually hang out in the shopping centres (or plazas as they call them locally) I decided to try and find something different to do this time. Hiking.
Originally I wanted to cover the more notable "Dragon's Back" first because it was supposedly easier. Would have been a good gauge of how well I can hike since I've never done it before but, the people I went along with decided to go here first because they thought the longer Dragon's Back trail would be a lot more challenging.
For me, I chose Wilson's Trail Section 2 because it was easy to access and was one of the trails on the HK trail guide that was on "low difficulty" rating as far as the star rating was concerned. YouTube videos I saw also made the trail look interesting because you could see the quarry that probably gave Quarry Bay its name.
The trail was shorter than Dragon's Back at 6.6km instead of 8.5km but that doesn't mean it's easier of course despite the 2/4 star rating compared to Dragon's 3/4... It has a lot more forks for one thing but you're really just going right every time. In my case, I had all the main points of the trail marked out on the Map.Me app and had a copy of the map from the website as backup.
Reaching The Starting Point
The official travel instructions was to take the number 6 bus from Central Station but, you could also take the 41A bus outside Quarry Bay Station too. Both take around 30 minutes before you get off at Wong Nai Gap Road where the Sinopec petrol station is.
We went on a Sunday so it was quite busy. There are public toilets and also mobile booth ones (the kind setup at gigs and used by workmen) but be ready for huge queues during weekends if you need to go here...
It was a 20 minutes hike up to the start of the trail and you'll pass by the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir along the way.
The reservoir itself is quite a sight so you should pop in and have a look. You could even feed the fishes there.
You'll also pass by the entrance/exit to Wilson's Trail Section 1 but obviously this isn't the trail we're going for.
Wilson's Trail Section 2
It was the next entrance on the left side of the road you should look for. Weekends are busy as usual in Hong Kong.
First checkpoint we aim for is Jardine's Lookout.
There's quite a lot of stairs to climb.
But not long you get a view over Deep Water Bay which is where Ocean Park is next to. Was quite hazy.
Was a lot of cover as we headed up.
Not sure what the dome is in the distance but I'm guessing it's a space observatory.
After 30 minutes of climbing you get to Jardine's Lookout...
Where you can take a break and enjoy the view over Central. Just across the water is Tsim Sha Tsui, the popular tourist spot for enjoying Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour shoreline at night.
It was 20C even though was December and the sun was out which is kind of the climate you'd expect during the early Scottish summers. You really don't want to be out here during a Hong Kong summer when the temperatures can be in the high 30s ^^;
Not far pass Jardine's Lookout you can already see Mount Butler Quarry as you head towards it. Quite spectacular to look at when you think about how much earth must have been dug out the side to create it.
There's no shortage of stairs to ascend and descend though...
Stairs as far as the eye can see, right along the fence next to the quarry in the distance. And they're not just your regular stairs either... They're very steep steps that you really had to stretch your legs to go up or down.
Height wise we're not talking very high since it's around 500m altitude which is about half of the smaller hills you'd come across back in Scotland apparently.
As you scaled along the side of the quarry you can see Tai Tam Reservoir. Long way down, lol.
I usually go 5K running during the weekend so I think that kind of helped with the whole fitness factor although I was still a bit breatheless going up the steep steps. People I went along with who don't usually exercise were out of breathe half way and were complaining, "I'm not doing this again..."
I might not either with all these damn stairs ^^;
From this point onwards, we head towards Siu Ma Shan, following the sign to go along Wilson's Trail.
After a bit more stairs we finally have some flat ground to walk on. We can also see Kowloon Bay now which is just east of the popular Tsim Sha Tsui.
Can you spot the red MegaBox shopping centre? It hasn't changed much since I last wrote about the place 8 years ago.
And what goes up, must go down... More stairs!
Lots of planes flying overhead in this area and if you hear loud buzzing, it's probably people flying their drones and not a giant swarm of bees, lol.
Once you pass the Siu Ma Shan sign...
There's a 3 way fork with no named sign posts but...
You do have a hiking post that points you to go right from here.
Eventually you'll head down some more stairs...
Then at the bottom, you turn right at the fork where the trail briefly merges with the Quarry Bay Jogging Trail.
Follow the path and when you come to another fork with the sign "Po Luen Path", you continue following the right hand side path.
After some more stairs you'll come across the Guan Yin Buddhism statue. You'll find a bridge to the left of the statue.
And once you pass one of the rest areas and some more stairs...
You reach the start of Quarry Bay Tree Walk. You can either go down yet more stairs by following the path down or...
You follow the sloping Mount Parker Road back out which was what we did.
You're not far from Tai Koo Station afterwards. About 15 minutes walk away or you could just walk around the shops. Tai Koo City Plaza is quite a good shopping centre to browse around in with a lot of Japanese department stores if that's your thing.
The hiking site's time estimate was 2.5 hours but I finished at 3.5. Probably because I stopped a lot to take videos and photos.
Overall, I think it was great that I had a view as I trekked along the path and I really enjoyed seeing the quarry in person but all those steps were quite the killer ^^;