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5 best pet-friendly hiking trails in Hong Kong

By Mark Webster 4 December 2020

Header images courtesy of @shibawe0429 (via Instagram)

When it comes to hiking, there’s no better companion than your furry friend. Not only is it an excellent form of exercise, but hiking with your dog is also a great way to bond with your pet. Besides, living in a bustling big city like Hong Kong can make it difficult to live with a dog. It’s easy to get cooped up in a small living space, and sometimes, you just need to stretch your legs and explore the outdoors. Luckily, Hong Kong is full of pet-friendly hiking trails, and we have taken the pleasure of finding some great options. Here are five pet-friendly hiking trails to tackle with your dog in Hong Kong.

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Photo: @sulleycloud (via Instagram)
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Violet Hill

While it’s considerably short, Violet Hill is still a moderately difficult hike. Located in southern Hong Kong with a total distance of about two kilometres, the trail runs from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and takes you along the Wilson Trail. Made up of a plethora of ascending and descending hills, you will have to tackle 1,200 steps to reach the top of Violet Hill, a 433-metre peak—a surefire way to work out, regardless of your fitness level.

To ease the somewhat strenuous journey, the hike passes through some of the most beautiful parts of Hong Kong, showing off skyscrapers, mountains, beaches, lush green parks, reservoirs, and even some outlying islands. If you find yourself in need of a break, there’s plenty of shady areas for you and your pup to relax and enjoy the panoramic view.

After reaching the peak, it’s all downhill from here. As you begin your descent, you may notice Victoria Harbor and Lamma Island in the distance. The winding green hills and flowery meadows offer relief as you bring your journey to an end. Though this trail is dog-friendly, we recommend you make sure your dog can handle the uphill climb. If your dog is a smaller breed, you may want to find an easier route, or just stick to a flatter path. If you’ve been searching for a new beautiful hiking spot, the Violet Hill trail could be a great spot to take your dog hiking in Hong Kong.

Click here to read our full guide for hiking Violet Hill.

Photo: @thebenjidiary (via Instagram)
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Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail

Looking for less of a workout and more of a casual stroll? The Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail could be just the thing for you and your dog, regardless of their breed and size. Located in Lung Fu Shan Country Park, the trail is just over two kilometres and will take you approximately 20 to 40 minutes to complete. But what makes this trail so special?

Constructed by the British military at the end of the nineteenth century, the Pinewood Battery was used as a military fortification during Hong Kong’s colonial days. It is widely known as a historic military site transformed from a coastal defence battery to an anti-aircraft battery. After its evacuation in 1941, the Pinewood Battery has not been used since the Japanese surrender in 1945. Today, it lay in ruins, but many still come to see the war remnants that lie along the trail.

The Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail can not only serve as a history lesson but also a scenic stroll. The trail starts on Harlech Road, close to Victoria Peak, which can be reached via the Peak Tram. It continues through Lugard Road, where you’ll see the Lugard Waterfall, offering both urban and natural scenery. Take a glimpse into the breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour, as well as the woodlands surrounding the trail. The trail concludes at the top of the Peak. It does not include many hills or steep climbs, which makes it an easy route for dogs. And if you find your dog in need of a break, close to the Pinewood Battery is a picnic area for you and your pup to sit down and enjoy a snack.

Not only is the Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail a great option for you and your dog to get in some light exercise, but it’s also a great opportunity to educate yourself on some of the most poignant parts of Hong Kong’s history.

Click here to read our full guide for hiking the Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail.

Photo: @shiba.tane (via Instagram)
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Dragon’s Back

Dragon’s Back is considered one of Hong Kong’s best hikes, particularly for its route and incredible bird’s-eye views of southern Hong Kong Island. It was even selected as one of the world’s best hiking trails in 2019. Coming in at eight-and-a-half kilometres long with an estimated duration of three to four hours, Dragon’s Back a great option if you’re looking for a more intense workout for you and your dog.

Dragon’s Back starts with windy trails along the lush woodlands and bamboo trees and continues along hillsides, where you can observe an abundance of foliage. Right off the bat, the trail opens up to the Shek O Peninsula Viewing Point overlooking Shek O Beach. After reaching the top of Shek O Peak, the trail offers spectacular views of Shek O mansions, Big Wave Bay, and the South China Sea. You can even see the rolling hills and windy trails in the distance, revealing how Dragon’s Back obtained its unique name.

As you continue uphill, you’ll see Tai Tam Bay, located west of Shek O Peninsula. Once you’ve passed over the narrow hilltop, you’ll arrive at Pottinger Gap, where you can see Chai Wan’s skyscrapers. Upon concluding the trail, feel free to relax under the shady trees and take a dip in the water with your pup. Praised for its incredible views and easy access to the public, Dragon’s Back is a great spot to take your dog hiking in Hong Kong.

Click here to read our full guide for hiking Dragon’s Back.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the guide 👇

Photo: @dougandougan (via Instagram)
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Aberdeen Country Park

Aberdeen Country Park is one of the oldest parks in Hong Kong. It offers a variety of trails to explore—seven, to be exact, all of which are of moderate difficulty—and presents a tranquil, scenic journey for you and your dog to enjoy.

Known for its dense forestry, and woodland areas, Aberdeen Country Park takes you along Lady Clementi’s Ride to Wan Chai Gap, where the Aberdeen Reservoir can be seen in the distance. Some of it is more popular attractions include Mount Cameron and Tin Wan Shan. While the hike itself is not overly difficult, resting stops with picnic areas are included along the trail, so you can give your dog a break every once in a while.

Throughout your hike, you will notice the abundance of vegetation surrounding the trails. While the trees conveniently provide shade, they also provide homes for much of the wildlife. The woods are frequented by birds of many different species; some of the most common you’ll see are the greater coucal, hwamei, magpie, crested mynah, and kingfisher, so feel free to engage in little birdwatching. Aberdeen Country Park offers trails that range from easy to moderate difficulty. Regardless of your own stamina or your dog’s, Aberdeen Country Park is for those looking to stretch their legs and take in some fresh air.

Photo: @sparkly_bubbly (via Instagram)
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Pineapple Dam Nature Walk

Located near Tsuen Wan District, the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail is a 2.7-mile walk in Section 7 of the Wilson Trail. It takes you through the Tai Mo Shan area and explores the Shing Mun Reservoir, as well as a number of beautiful gardens, finally ending at Lead Mine Pass. It takes about three to four hours to complete, but it’s a relatively easy hike.

Many nature enthusiasts frequent the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail with their family and pets. Any sort of incline is gradual and requires a minimal amount of effort. As you travel through the path, you will notice a wide array of vegetation and wildlife, including birds, cattle, monkeys, and even a butterfly garden.

Due to the trail’s simplicity, Pineapple Dam could be a great place to take your dog hiking, especially if your dog does not have high endurance. Just be aware of the wild animals that inhabit the area—you do not want your dog to get too spooked! The Pineapple Dam Nature Walk offers a wonderful opportunity for you and your dog to explore the beautiful landscape, flora, and fauna as you hike along the trail.

Hong Kong is by no means known for being dog-friendly. Looking for new and exciting places to take your dog can be quite a challenge. Your dog should be able to run around and release any pent-up energy, as any dog should. Hiking can be a great way for you and your dog to get in your daily exercise while also bonding over the beautiful landscape Hong Kong has to offer. Many of the spots we have chosen allow for the occasional break to take in the breath-taking beauty. Each hiking spot we have included also offers varying levels of difficulty, so you can pick and choose which one is best suited to you and your dog. Important note: Check with your vet and make sure your dog is up-to-date with their shots before venturing into the great outdoors!

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Mark Webster

Contributor

Mark Webster is the co-founder and editor at Dog Food Heaven. His aim? Simple. Cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends!

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