Hiking MacLehose Trail – Stage 1

MacLehose Trail

I had originally planned to hike the entire MacLehose trail last year with a friend. However, we only managed three of the ten sections and then stopped; preferring to hike on Hong Kong island instead.

Recently, when the weather was good, I kept thinking of continuing but again, usually just ended up doing my favourite hike instead.

When doing my list of things to do within the next two years I decided to put down the 100km MacLehose Trail as well. I figure this would be the motivation I need to travel to Sai Kung and New Territories finally complete the trail.

The MacLehose trail is supposed to be the most beautiful of Hong Kong’s hikes with the highest peaks in the S.A.R and last weekend’s weather was almost perfect.

It does take a long time to get to the beginning of the trail in Sai Kung if you live on the Hong Kong Island. This time Husband and I went for the easier option of taking the MTR to Diamond Hill and then a taxi to Country Park Visitor Centre at Pak Tam Chung.

From there, it is an easy walk along the tarmac road around the High Island Reservoir. There were some fantastic views of turquoise water with only a handful of other hikers and a few green taxis (full of beach goers on the way to the East Dam) to interrupt your enjoyment of the scenery. It was very peaceful and quiet, making it seem as though we were a world away from Hong Kong.

Stage 1 of the MacLehose trail finishes in the most bizarre place: Half way over hill between the East Damn and Long Ke Wan beach. We were planning to continue onto the 2nd stage but instead, after relaxing on the beach for a long while, decided to head back to one of Sai Kung’s waterfront restaurants for a late lunch.

It was way too hot to continue (over 30 degrees and very little shade along the trail) and we weren’t in any rush. Unlike the participants of the Oxfam Trailwalker charity race (complete the 100km trail within 48-hours) this is not part of our training regime and we have time. Another section next time.

MacLehose TrailOld style distance post.

MacLehose Trail-3High Island Reservoir. The largest reservoir in HK. 273 million cubic meters of water.

MacLehose Trail-2

MacLehose Trail-4Chong Hing Water Sports Centre’s artificial lake.

MacLehose Trail-5

MacLehose Trail-2Husband and me. Hot, sweaty and happy.

MacLehose Trail-7Love the blues here.

MacLehose Trail-8Memorial to those who died while building the High Island Reservoir.

MacLehose Trail-10Fulvous Forest Skimmer – Red Dragonfly.

MacLehose Trail-6The end of Section 1.

MacLehose Trail-4Long Ke Wan Bay. Beautiful and easy (easier than others) to get to. Only accessible by boat or 30 min walk from the East Dam.

MacLehose Trail-5

MacLehose Trail-8Lovely beach. Are we in Thailand?

MacLehose Trail-7Time for homemade pecan cookies and apples.

MacLehose Trail-9Husband.

MacLehose TrailSpiders love the summertime. In shaded areas there are so many of these huge ones with their gigantic webs above and to the side of the path that I am glad I am not taller.

Stage 1 Pak Tam Chung –> Long Ke 10.6km

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