Sunday, November 25, 2018

Central to Wan Chai via The Peak, Peel Rise, Aberdeen, and Wan Chai Gap

12km (3.5 hours). 

5/10. 693m elevation gain. Paved throughout. Nicely shaded pretty much throughout

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere.

Water needs: 1.5 liter.

Appreciation: 8/10. Nice views, varied scenery from iconic city views to forrest paths and reservoir.

Exercise Area: Yes, extensive: 12 areas along the way.

Transportation: Mid-level escalator, return via Wan Chai MTR.

Why it's worth it: 

You can start at the escalator level, next to the 100QRC building. If you wait for 10:30 am, the escalator should be going up. Just follow the path of the escalator all the way to its end (~15 min, 1 km).

Escalator ends here, on Conduit Road. Head right but stay on the left side of the road.

After about a 300-400m walk, cross the street at the lights and go up on Hornsey Rd

You'll reach Old Peak Road after having walked about 600m.
Head left, take the stairs, and then keep going up on Old Peak Road.

Stay on your right here. Be on the lookout for a city boundary stone which will be on your right, about 50m further up.
This was the boundary of Victoria City in 1903

Another km on Old Peak Road and you'll reach this point, head right. You will go by a big red house on your left.

Almost at The Peak! Just a few meters left...

At The Peak, the iconic Hong Kong harbour vistas can be seen be walking a bit more to your left. When you are done, come back to this point and head right on the road going around the Peak shopping mall (Peak Road).

Go left on Peak Road

There's quite a bit of traffic on Peak Road, so stay on the left side where there's a quieter side-road

About 700m onto Peak Road, you'll reach this point, keep to the right.

A further 100m and you'll reach Peel Rise Rest Garden. Take the road down that goes right by it (Gough Hill path).

Another 75m and you'll reach this junction. Take a right onto Peel Rise.

Ben, May, and Dan, our hiking models for today, are telling you to keep going straight at this intersection which is about 1.2km into Peel Rise... Basically, you just stay on Peel Rise/

Keep on going down on Peel Rise. Taking a left is a shortcut, but what fun would that be!?

You'll get into Aberdeen, past the cemetary. Then reach Aberdeen Reservoir Road.
Take a left on Aberdeen Reservoir Road.

At this junction, keep going straight, towards the Lower Aberdeen Reservoir.

Lower Aberdeen Reservoir. The dam will be on your right, don't cross it, just keep going straight.

Friendly wild boar

Another intersection, head left, following the direction to Wan Chai Gap

Straight, Wan Chai Gap

Keep going straight.

You have reached the Wan Chai Gap park, head left...

... then go right in between the four roads, crossing them, Wan Chai Gap path is there, going down.
Follow that path

After 15-20 minutes walks, you'll reach Kennedy Road, go right.

Across the street, go down the stairs, left of the temple.

There, back to Wan Chai!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Taikoo to Mount Parker's peak (柏架山), then loop back (old man, and ancient stoves)

8km (3 hours). 

8/10. 525m elevation gain. Some steep climbs and slippery descents.

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere.

Water needs: 1 liter.

Appreciation: 8/10. Nice views from the top of Mount Parker

Exercise Area: Yes. 3 areas along the way.

Transportation: Tai Koo MTR, Exit 'B'

Why it's worth it: 

Exit 'B' (Kornhill) from Taikoo MTR station

Head left (West) on King's Road as you come out of the station.
You will be walking on King's Road for about 120m until you reach Greig Road

Turn left on Greig road.

Keep going straight on Greig Road, for about 400m...

Until you reach the colorful 'Buddhist Chung Wah Kornhill Primary School' on your left. You will sign signage on your right for Wilson Trail and for Quarry Bay Tree Walk. Follow the signs and head right. The path goes around and down a bit...
.. going under this small tunnel.
Go up the stairs and just follow the main path

Just a few minutes after having passed the Tao Tam Country Park sign. You'll get to this fork. Head left.
(Note that you will be looping back here later, arriving from the path on the right)

Stay on the main path for 15-20 minutes, until you reach this point where there's a Mount Parker Sign, a path going up, one going up then left, and the main path continuing on the right. There's also a sign warning about taking the path that goes straight up. Taker the path that goes left. 

You'll know just a few seconds later that you are on the right path when you see a fence on your left and an opening with a view over Taikoo. Keep going

A few minutes walk later, another fork, take a right.

About 10-15 minutes walk from the last fork, you'll reach this point (you'll pass stairs on your right which you won't take) where there's white ribbons. The path goes up. Take that path.
(Thanks to Mario for the update)

This section, climbing all the way to Mount Parker Road, is the steepest ascent.
The path is quite clearly demarcated, with a lot of ribbons. The climb to the road is 30-45 minutes long.

Interesting rock formations. One of them is supposed to look like an old man...

You are getting closer. Mount Parker Road goes along the two radar stations.

Take a left at the road.

Arriving at the West-most station, you'll see stairs on the left, take them.

Go all the way around the station and you'll see a ribbon with the number 46 and a path beyond it. That's where you need to climb over the fence and follow the path. Mount Parker's peak is about 10-15 minutes away.

Mount Parker's peak at a distance

There you go, you made it! That's Mount Parker's peak. It is all downhill from this point-on.
However, it is slippery

Follow the ribbon with number 46 on it

Another 15-25 minutes after the peak, you will re-connect with Mount Parker Road. Head left.

You will reach the Quarry Gap Pavillion  a couple of minutes later. Head right, following Mount Parker Road for about 15-20 minutes

Head right onto Hong Pak Country Trail

You will reach this place which has remains of war-time stoves. Go straight, through the stove field, then down the path.
For more info:

Path does not have a fork until this point where you go left.

And finally, you end-up back here, having completed the loop. Head left. The rest is just retracing your steps on the path you have covered earlier, all the way to the Taikoo MTR station.

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Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!