Header images courtesy of @chu_jeh and @handsomebarryhk (via Instagram)
With its urban density, biodiversity, and sheer amount of wild trails, Hong Kong is a hiker’s dream—and boy, don’t we have the archive to prove it. But sometimes you just want to take a nature walk that does not require whipping out Camelbaks and walking poles—and that’s okay! Hong Kong Island has plenty of beginner-friendly walks that every member of the family can enjoy, from beachside promenades to green trails. While not all of these are officially considered family walks by the government, they are all flat, safe, and easily accessed via public transport—which makes them pretty darn family-friendly in our eyes. Let’s go!
For nature lovers, the Pok Fu Lam Family Walk is a good shout. With its abundance of mountain tallow and Hong Kong Gordonia trees and the diverse wildlife that can be found along its path, it’s a treasure trove of biodiversity—as a result, Pok Fu Lam Country Park is considered an official “Site of Special Scientific Interest” by the government.
Pok Fu Lam Family Walk is a little undulating, but it’s very manageable even for children—and the views are more than worth it. To get to the starting point, catch bus 4 from Central to Wah Fu or bus 71 from Central to Wong Chuk Hang and alight at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road. You’ll find Pok Fu Lam Reservoir (the first to be built in Hong Kong!) as well as the historic former watchman’s cottage near the start of the trail.
There’s plenty of beauty to take in throughout this path, from the burbling streams to the historic granite bridges, as well as wild animals. At the higher points of the trail, you should also be able to see Lamma Island towards the west! In total, this three-and-a-half-kilometre walk should take about an hour and it’s a loop, so you’ll end up back where you started.
This short and sweet two-and-a-half-kilometre walk between Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay is a favourite with runners and families alike thanks to its paved path, breezy sea views, and accessible starting point. You can opt to walk it from one end to the other, but given the short length—the entire promenade can be covered in half an hour—we like to stop at Repulse Bay for a bite and then loop back to Deep Water Bay afterwards, making it an even five-kilometre amble.
To get there from Central, you can grab buses 260, 6, 6X, or 66 going towards Stanley. Alight at Island Road and then walk towards the far end of Deep Water Bay Beach (in the direction of Repulse Bay) and look for the sign for Seaview Promenade. The path, which was unveiled about 10 years ago, is flat, well-maintained, and equipped with guard rails, so it’s perfect for a leisurely family stroll with pets or little ones. And since it’s bookended by beaches, there’s plenty to eat, see, and do on either end—whether you’re in the mood for a dip in the sea, a coastal meal, or a little shopping.
As an easy shaded path in the tranquil surroundings of Mid-Levels, Bowen Road Fitness Trail is extremely popular with local families, joggers, and dog owners. It is entirely paved, mostly flat, and spans less than four kilometres—making it a perfect chilled-out afternoon activity.
To get to the official starting point, catch minibus 28 from either Causeway Bay or Baguio Villa to Kennedy Road and alight at Bowen Drive (opposite the petrol station on Monmouth Terrace). Alternatively, you can start from the other direction, next to the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital on Stubbs Road. Bowen Road Fitness Trail, which is gentle enough for young children, offers gorgeous tree-framed views of Central, Wan Chai, and Happy Valley.
That being said, there is a pretty high likelihood of spotting wild boars and porcupines on the trail—and since they are used to being fed by humans, they may approach you. Just make sure to maintain a safe distance and remain calm—no yelling, no trying to scare them off—just leave them alone and you’ll be fine. The whole trail takes about one and a half hours from start to finish, so you can opt to loop back and do it as an out-and-back trail or tap out at the end on Wan Chai Gap Road.
Hong Kong has no shortage of picturesque spots, but one of our favourite places to visit on Hong Kong Island has got to be the group of reservoirs in Tai Tam. The Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir masonry bridges, with their curved granite arches and serene waters, are especially breath-taking (and more than a little reminiscent of the Hogwarts Express).
You can view the reservoirs as part of the Tai Tam Family Walk, which is an hourlong 1.6-kilometre- walk. To get there, catch buses 6, 63, or 66 to Stanley and alight at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park, Wong Nai Chung Gap Road. Cross the road and head towards the petrol station, where you’ll find a set of stairs on your left leading up to Tai Tam Road. At the top of the stairs, turn left, cross the street, and follow the sign towards Parkview.
Once you reach the entrance to Parkview, continue heading down the road until you see a barrier. Walk past the barrier and continue along for five more minutes until you see the signs for the Tai Tam Family Walk on your right. The rest of the trail is clearly marked and you’ll come across plenty of photogenic spots, from tree-lined paths to the stunning reservoirs (where you might even see people wakeboarding!). While some parts of the walk are shaded, there are some sections that are very exposed, so remember to bring sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen, and plenty of water.
Okay, this is a bit of an obvious one, but there’s a reason we bring our friends to Victoria Peak when they come to visit (hey, remember international travel?)—you can get there easily, you can walk around the top easily, and it has the most iconic views of the city. And don’t forget the number of adorable dogs that you can spot at the Peak Circle at any given time on any given day (however, speaking from experience, Sunday mornings are prime dog-spotting hours).
The Peak Circle is a three-and-a-half-kilometre-walk which, as the name suggests, loops around in a circle—perfect for those who cannot be bothered to follow maps and trail markers. It’s entirely paved and there are little points of interest along the way, such as lookout points with incredible vistas, little playgrounds for the kids, and mini waterfalls.
To get there, you can either take the scenic route (a.k.a. the Peak Tram) from Garden Road or hop on bus 15 or minibus 1 from Central. Follow the path starting at Lugard Road next to the Peak Tower and continue until you hit the lookout point (trust us, you’ll know it when you see it—and even if you don’t, you can just follow everyone else as they head there to take photos). In theory, the walk can be done in about half an hour, but in practice, we typically spend about an hour in total just walking, taking photos, and petting dogs.