Wilson Trail

Wilson Trail, Hong Kong: Hours, Address, Wilson Trail Reviews: 4.5/5

Wilson Trail
4.5
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BradJill
Hong Kong, China141,651 contributions
Apr 2021
The Wilson Trail is one of four long distance trails in Hong Kong and is 78 kilometres in length. The trail was designated in 1996 and is named after former Hong Kong governor David Wilson (1987-92). It transects Hong Kong from South to North and is divided up into 10 sections, taking in numerous country parks, rural patches (green lungs) surrounded by city, war relic lined ridges, mountainous areas and old villages. The Wilson Trail starts at the seaside village of Stanley on the southend end of Hong Kong Island (Section 1) and finally ends at Nam Chung Village (Section 10) near the border with mainland China.

One of the most popular stages of the Wilson Trail is Section #9 between Cloudy Hill and eastern end of the Pat Sin Leng mountain range in the Pat Sin Leng Country Park. This is a challenging hike but one that offers remarkable views from the numerous peaks and high elevation ridges that you will traverse along the route. Many consider this trail to be amongst the finest hiking opportunities in all of Hong Kong.

Note: Section #9 of the Wilson Trail requires a certain level of hiking experience and fitness to complete with comfort. It is not one I would recommend to new hikers or for your first hike of the season. There is a long, steep and steady ascent during the first half of the the hike and numerous shorter ascents up the series of 8 peaks at the east end. The trail is in good condition but requires stamina and fitness, plenty of water, especially during the warmer summer months, and sunscreen (very little shade). Further, you will be exposed to the elements throughout so it is important to know weather and hiking conditions and to have adequate hiking attire before attempting Section 9. Lastly, there are almost no facilities between the start and finish of this section of the trail.

Note: Best to upload Hiking Trail HK app to your mobile phone and to have printed maps for these long distance trails in Hong Kong. This stage of the Wilson Trail is very well marked and signed throughout, making it easy to follow. However, still better to come prepared with basic navigation equipment and maps just to be safe.

Section 9 is 10 km in distance between starting at Cloudy Hill (end of Wilson Trail Section #8). You will quickly pass a small and attractive, S-shaped reservoir at Hok Tau before beginning a long and steady ascent up to the mountain range which you will traverse across the country park. After your initial climb, the trail mostly levels off as you trek along a line of mountain ridges and through short passes until you reach the eastern end and have to clear the 8 monumental peaks of Pat Sin Leng. Interestingly, these are named after the Eight Fairies of Chinese Mythology. Each peak has signage identifying the peak name and location. Views from the ridge lines and peaks throughout the trail are outstanding on days with good visibility.

After clearing the eighth peak, you have finished Section #9 and will begin a steep downward descent until you intersect the Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail which you can use to carry on to either Bride's Pool Road or Tai Mei Tuk, both of which are a further 2 km away. For those finished with their hiking for the day, best to go right towards to Tai Mei Tuk where you'll find a major bus transportation hub with regular and frequent transportation to the Tai Po Market MTR Station. For those wanting to press on to Section 10 and the final leg of the Wilson Trail, technically, this Section started at the descent from Pat Sin Leng, take a left at Nature Trail intersection and continue onward towards Nam Chung Village.
Written April 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

expaddy
Bali86 contributions
Feb 2021
78 kilometers of dramatic beauty.
Landmarks you can get to: Violet Hill, Devils Peak military fort ruins, Kowloon Peak's ridge with expansive views of Kowloon and beyond, Amah Rock, Jubilee (Shing Mun) Reservoir, and the Pat Sing Leng Range.

Divided into 10 stages, any one of these sections gives more of a "behind the scenes" look at Hong Kong, especially when compared with the more famous and popular MacLehose Trail. The Mighty Mac, east to west, takes you to a couple of outstanding landmarks like the tallest peak (Tai Mo Shan) and the loveliest beaches of Sai Kung. But the Wilson with its south to north progression gives a hiker a different angle of approach to HK, Kowloon and the central New Territories.

Some stages are quite strenuous, but those always reward a hiker with exceptional views of different parts of the territory.
Best to consult Pete Spurrier's book The Serious Hiker's Guide to Hong Kong, because he describes each section with accuracy.

Not as consistently well marked a trail as the MacLehose, but you won't get seriously lost with a map in your pack. There are stages like 3 which are comically over-marked with trail signs, and then stages like 8 where you might find yourself scratching your head just to get onto the right path when confronted with many choices. This is possibly due to different sponsorship of each different trail section. The Wilson depended upon bodies like the HKJockey Club and Sun Hung Kai Properties to foot the bill for signage and trail construction.
One of the strange aspects of the Wilson is that some sections end in ridiculous spots like summits. If you are a bit of a wonk about doing a whole section at a time, you will find yourself doing two sections in a row, just to get to a bus or taxi when finished.

This trait of the Wilson reaches its most annoying at trail's end. At the end of Stage 10, in the middle of a steep, paved service road for a shuttered Ag and Fisheries building, there sits one (of about 6 total on the Wilson) granite sponsorship marker, identifying the trail and acknowledging that the Friends of the Country Parks helped make it all happen. But it's just a roadside object and no "end of trail" sign is to be found, something that you get in Tuen Mun at Marker 200 of the MacLehose, which also conveniently rests at the sudden appearance of a busy road with public transport.

So the Wilson hiker is unceremoniously dumped into a remote village (not without its charms) where you must hoof it another half hour out to Luk Keng, where a green minibus can be taken to the Fanling train station. This factor of extra walking to public transport is why the guidebook can be helpful.

Very challenging workouts can be had on sections 1, 8, and 9. Very easy and relaxing hikes are sections 5 and 7. The rest have strenuous sections mixed with easier sections. The most spectacular view hikes are 2, 4 and 9.
Be aware that every stage of the Wilson contains at least one section on stairs... either up or down. These can be very trying for many walkers. Many more stairs than on the MacLehose, in my estimation.
Written February 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Safemach
Hong Kong, China315 contributions
Dec 2020
Overhyped walk, both by scenery and difficulty. Mind you I would not do this in summer or even over 25 degC.

Nice views, yes. Lots of steps, yes. Just take it slow and it’s not difficult, note point about the heat above...
Written December 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TheOExpress🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🇭🇰
Hong Kong, China3,914 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
...so make sure you know which part you’ll be attempting because the levels of fitness and perseverance required will vary MASSIVELY depending on which section you choose. Having tackled a few of the trails across the difficulty range, I am a huge fan of the views and challenge. It’s a cliche to state but to be so close to such a busy city and yet in complete silence with no one else around is magical. (Though it may be hard to find this kind of solitude on a weekend when HK-ers hike en masse.)
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NorthStar256322
2 contributions
Dec 2019
Did Section 1 of the Wilson Trail in two goes: first from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir to Tze Kong Bridge in September. Weather was sunny, hot about 30c and very humid. The start from the petrol station at the bus stop is not obvious. You need to head up Tai Tam R road & past Parkview then turn right where there is a sign Wilson Trail. Steady climb to Violet Hill then down to the saddle and the bridge. From here, take right turn (not clearly signposted) on a track that takes you to South Bay Close and a bus stop on Repulse Bay Road. Tackled Section 2 from Stanley Gap Road to the bridge in December. Weather much better for hiking. Better direction as you go down the 1,000 steps on The Twins rather than up. Be careful that you get the bus driver to stop at the Wilson Trail stop as ours roared straight through!
Written December 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chris O
Worcestershire, UK102 contributions
Jan 2019 • Couples
This was the second time I hiked the section of the Wilson Trail known as ‘The Ridge of the Eight Immortals’ which starts midway through section 8 and ends towards the beginning of stage 10.

The trailhead starts around 10 minutes walk from Tai Wo MTR Station up in the New Territories.

The hike starts proper at the foot of Cloudy Hill, a very steep walk up concrete steps which certainly warms the muscles up! From there you hike over 8 (not including the Ping Fung Shan and Lai Pek Shan mountain ridge climbs beforehand!) different peaks in the Pat Sin Leng Country Park.

This is definitely one of the more challenging hikes in HK, it’s both long and strenuous but the views over Tolo Harbour and Plover Clove are amazing, you can even see the city of Shenzhen over the border in China in the distance.

At the end of the hike you can walk down into Tai Mei Tuk where there’s plenty of places to eat and drink as well as a terminus where the Buses leave from to take you back to the city (or nearest MTR Station).

This really is a great hike but make sure you take supplies, there’s nowhere on the hike to get food or drinks and you’ll probably be hiking in the region of 6-8 hours so be prepared.

Likewise, if hiking in the summer take sun block! The ridges are very exposed so sun burn will be a foregone conclusion if not protected!

Happy hiking.
Written February 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MintLeafCottages
London, UK2,022 contributions
Dec 2018 • Friends
Tough hike with views for days!!!

Known as TWIN PEAKS this tough hike is made up of two sections, the first peak/section comprises a steady incline 1000 unforgiving steps!!! The second peak has fewer steps but a much steeper incline, don't turn backwards or you'll feel like you're toppling into the abyss!!

Best to start really early before it gets too hot and it wasn't that busy when I did it on a Sunday.

The final leg (going down - woohoo!) offers resplendent views over Stanley Bay where a bus takes you into Stanley to peruse the market and enjoy a well deserved bite to eat!
Written December 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michael C
265 contributions
Nov 2018 • Solo
Did this wilson trail section 1, and comparing this with the HK east-west trail, it’s is slightly more challenging as it involves undulating terrain. I took a leisurely pace and it took me about 3 hours.
Starting from the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir carpark, there is a huge entrance sign that says Wilson Trail and Hong Kong Trail. This is not the entrance for Wilson Trail 1. Cross the road to the opposite side and take the other entry that says Stanley Section.
You will be greeted with a long flight of stairs that leads to another. The way up to Violet hill takes about 20 mins. Atop violet hill, the Tai Tam Reservoir is in sight. You can catch glimpses of Repulse Bay and Stanley Bay.
It takes another 40 odd minutes to get to a small bridge called Tze Kong Bridge where there is a sign that points to Stanley. Henceforth the so-called thousand steps of Twin Peaks will assail you. It’s manageable, if you take frequent stops to prevent knee ailments from reoccurring. Once you reach the top of the first peak, you will be rewarded with wonderful views of the bay and distant hills and breezy autumn winds. It’s a fairly easy trail along the ridge line until you start on the second ascent to the second peak of Mount Ma Kung. (Elev 386). Again, reaching the top you can take in the scenery and enjoy the moment.
The way down is open air with plenty of steps. It leads you all the way down to Stanley Gap Road. To Central, cross the road to the opposite side and take bus 6 or 260. There are 2 bus stops at the foot of the trail exit. One for each side of the road.
All in all, I found it challenging but satisfying.
Written November 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Georgieross
Wan Chai / Causeway Bay, China28 contributions
Apr 2017
The first hill is relatively easy - a few up hill climbs and alot of beautiful scenery.
The Twin Peaks are tough and not for the unfit - 1000 + steps to the top, followed but a further peak of another 300 steps. Well worth the view of Stanley on the other side!
Written May 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sunshinelpc
toronto965 contributions
Nov 2016
I took bus 6 from Hkg station bus terminal and get off at 黃泥涌水塘公園站 to Stanely. It is a bit easier than the other way around. Still there are a lot of stairs non stop going up. Bring enough water as no place to refill. It took me 2 hours to finish this section. View 黃泥涌水塘公園站as fantastic
Written November 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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