MacLehose Trail

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MacLehose Trail
R38943437917 Upper section of Tai Mo Shan Road meandering up the mountain.JPG
Tai Mo Shan Road weaving up the mountain along section 8 of the MacLehose Trail
Traditional Chinese麥理浩徑
Simplified Chinese麦理浩径

The MacLehose Trail (Chinese: 麥理浩徑), opened on 26 October 1979, is a hiking trail that crosses much of the New Territories, starting from Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung, in the east to Tuen Mun in the west in the territory of Hong Kong. The whole trail is 100 kilometres long, marked by distance posts at 500m intervals along the path. It is named after Sir Murray MacLehose, the longest serving governor of Hong Kong, who established the Country Parks and was himself an enthusiastic hiker. The trail passes through a variety of natural scenery including beaches and mountains.

The New Territories, through which the MacLehose Trail runs, covers the majority of the SAR's land area. The east coast, where the Trail begins, is deeply indented and wild. The central mountains, which the MacLehose Trail crosses, include many of Hong Kong's highest peaks. The western part, where the trail winds to its end features numerous valley reservoirs.[1]

Tai Mo Shan Road (大帽山道) turn-off on Route Twisk, where the old section of MacLehose Trail Stage 8 between Route Twisk and the car park near Tai Mo Shan connects to stage 9.


The MacLehose Trail is divided into ten stages:[1]

Stage Route Length (km) Time (hr) Difficulty Starting Post Ending Post
1 Pak Tam ChungLong Ke 10.6 3.0 1/3 stars 000 020/021
2 Long KePak Tam Au 13.5 5.0 2/3 stars 020/021 048/049
3 Pak Tam AuKei Ling Ha 10.2 4.0 3/3 stars 048/049 068/069
4 Kei Ling HaTai Lo Shan 12.7 5.0 3/3 stars 068/069 094
5 Tai Lo ShanTai Po Road 10.6 3.0 2/3 stars 094 115/116
6 Tai Po RoadShing Mun 4.6 1.5 1/3 stars 115/116 124
7 Shing MunLead Mine Pass 6.2 2.5 2/3 stars 124 137
8 Lead Mine PassRoute Twisk 9.7 4.0 2/3 stars 137 156
9 Route TwiskTin Fu Tsai 6.3 2.5 1/3 stars 156 168/169
10 Tin Fu TsaiTuen Mun 15.6 5.0 1/3 stars 168/169 200

1/3 stars Easy Walk
2/3 stars Fairly Difficult
3/3 stars Very Difficult

Stage one starts flat and gradual on the south side of High Island Reservoir, in Sai Kung East Country Park (4,477 hectares). This is a pleasant beginning. It passes through paths over viewing dams and reservoirs like the Tai Tum Tuik Reservoir. Mini bus or bus are available as public transportation. [2]

Stage two is located on the rolling hills of the East Sai Kung Peninsula. 'The route begins at Long Ke, then makes a steep ascent to Sai Wan Shan. Climbing up here, one has majestic views over a superb coastline - and north towards conical Sharp Peak. After dropping down to Sai Wan, the Trail follows the beaches to Ham Tin, then turns inland over the coastal hills. Finally section Two skirts some shallow sea inlets, before ending at Pak Tam Au.'

'The rocks near Long Ke are rhyolite, a fine grained volcanic rock formed when lava cools rapidly. Rhyolite's six-sided crystals create, on a much larger scale, hexagonal columns of rock -- which give the Long Ke coastline its distinct appearance. Jagged brown-grey columns of rhyolite rear up everywhere.' [3]


Oxfam Trailwalker, a major fundraising event which takes place annually in November on the MacLehose Trail and additional route. The Starting Point is at Pak Tam Chung in Sai Kung and the Finishing Point is at Po Leung Kuk Jockey Club Tai Tong Holiday Camp in Yuen Long.

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