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Hiking is a physical activity with both physical and mental benefits. It can improve your physical fitness and help you relax. You may need many different skills for any particular sport, and each sport, including hiking, has its unique skills. If you can master the skills of hiking, you can diminish energy loss and minimise the chance of getting hurt. Here are some hiking tips by Enjoy Hiking: Uphill Maintain a natural pace and avoid making very large strides. Avoid climbing at high speed. Don't rest too frequently or for too long. When you feel tired, slow down instead of stopping. Tread only on secure stable ground, where there is enough foot room. Use the strength of your legs to climb. Avoid pulling yourself up by grasping small trees or branches, as they may break leading to a fall. Keep your upper body straight. When going up very steep slopes, don't go straight ahead. Move sideways and work your up in a series of zigzags. Downhill Never run downhill ―this is a certain way to have a dangerous fall. Tread only on secure stable ground, with enough foot room. Avoid treading on wet slippery ground, especially wet clay or grasses. But if there is no other way, proceed with caution and keep your body low. Use the strength of your legs to descend. Avoid sliding down by grasping small trees or branches. This indicates you are half out of control. Branches can break and, even if they don't, you will damage the vegetation. Keep your upper body straight. When moving down very steep slopes, move sideways and work down in a series of zigzags. Food and Drink Never eat or drink while moving. Relax to take refreshments. Don't hurry with your food or drink. Never drink untreated water from hill streams or eat any wild plants or mushrooms. Don't consume icy drinks immediately after a long hike, when your body temperature is still high. Never drink alcohol during a hike. Foot Care Wear suitable hiking shoes. Wear new shoes on level ground a few times before going on a serious hike. This will ensure the surface material is soft and the shoes are comfortably worn in to the shape of your feet. Bootlaces should not be too tight. Wear two pairs of socks made of soft, fluffy and absorbent material. Trim your toenails, and try to keep your feet clean and dry. Stop walking if your feet are uncomfortable. Inspect them and treat any wounds promptly. If there are signs of blisters, put a plaster on the affected area. Blisters should be dressed with an absorbent plaster that eliminates moisture. Serious blisters should be treated with antiseptic. Pierce the blisters with a sterile pin and squeeze out any moisture. Avoid touching the wounds directly, and cover them with an antiseptic dressing right away. For soreness or cramps in the legs, massage the leg muscles. If possible, soak feet in warm water, or use a menthol-based heat rub ointment. Moreover, to be well prepared for your next hiking trip, you may check out the following website for more information. A Guide for Hikers (Centre for Health Protection) Safety Hints on Hiking (Hiking Scheme) Source: AFCD Enjoy Hiking website
Following the relaxation of some social distancing measures announced by the Government, all of the 157 country park barbecue sites under the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) have resumed normal operation from 3 November. Country park visitors should comply with social distancing measures, and maintain personal and environmental hygiene. Visitors should dispose of used masks and waste properly and take their litter home. List of AFCD's country park barbecue sites North East New TerritoriesHok Tau Reservoir Barbecue Area (Pat Sin Leng Country Park)Lau Shui Heung Reservoir Barbecue Area (Pat Sin Leng Country Park)Bride's Pool Road Barbecue Area-Chung Pui Section (Pat Sin Leng Country Park)Bride's Pool Road Barbecue Area-Bride's Pool Section (Pat Sin Leng Country Park & Plover Cove Country Park)Bride's Pool Road Barbecue Area-Wu Kau Tang & Kong Ha Au Section (Pat Sin Leng Country Park & Plover Cove Country Park)Bride's Pool Road Barbecue Area-Chung Mei Section (Pat Sin Leng Country Park & Plover Cove Country Park)Ham Hang Mei Barbecue Area (Plover Cove Country Park)Tai Mei Tuk Barbecue Area (Plover Cove Country Park)Tung Ping Chau Barbecue Area (Plover Cove (Extension) Country Park)North West New TerritoriesTwisk and Rotary Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park)Tai Tong Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park)Fu Tei Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park)Sham Tseng Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park)Shek Kong Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park)Tuen Mun Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park) Central New TerritoriesChuen Lung Barbecue Area (Tai Lam Country Park & Tai Mo Shan Country Park) Kowloon Reservoir Barbecue Area (Kam Shan Country Park)Smugglers' Ridge Barbecue Area (Kam Shan Country Park)Shek Lei Pui Reservoir Barbecue Area (Kam Shan Country Park)Hung Mui Kuk Barbecue Area (Lion Rock Country Park)Shing Mun Barbecue Area (Shing Mun Country Park)Ma On Shan Barbecue Area (Ma On Shan Country Park)Nai Chung Barbecue Area (Ma On Shan Country Park)Shatin Pass Barbecue Area (Ma On Shan Country Park)Tai Hang Tun Barbecue Area (Clearwater Bay Country Park)Sai KungHau Tong Kai Barbecue Area (Sai Kung West Country Park)Hoi Ha Barbecue Area (Sai Kung West Country Park)Tai Mong Tsai Barbecue Area (Sai Kung West Country Park)Tai Tan Barbecue Area (Sai Kung West Country Park)Pak Tam Chung Barbecue Area (Sai Kung West Country Park)Sai Sha Road Barbecue Area (Sai Kung West Country Park & Ma On Shan Country Park)Tsak Yue Wu Barbecue Area (Sai Kung East Country Park)Wong Shek Barbecue Area (Sai Kung East Country Park) Lantau IslandNam Shan and Pak Fu Tin Barbecue Area (Lantau South Country Park)Pak Kung Au Barbecue Area (Lantau South Country Park)Cheung Sha Catchwater Barbecue Area (Lantau South Country Park)San Shek Wan Barbecue Area (Lantau South Country Park)Shek Pik Barbecue Area (Lantau South Country Park)Tong Fuk Catchwater Barbecue Area (Lantau South Country Park)Hong Kong IslandTai Tam Barbecue Area (Tai Tam Country Park)Tai Tam Tuk Barbecue Area (Tai Tam Country Park)Mount Parker Road and Kornhill Barbecue Area (Tai Tam Country Park (Quarry Bay Extension) Tung Ah Barbecue Area (Shek O Country Park)Tung Lung Fort Special Area (Shek O Country Park) Tung Lung Fort Barbecue Area (Shek O Country Park)Aberdeen Reservoir Barbecue Area (Aberdeen Country Park)Aberdeen P.H.A.B. Barbecue Area (Aberdeen Country Park)Lung Fu Shan Barbecue Area (Lung Fu Shan Country Park) For enquiries, please call the AFCD on 2708 8885. Please refer to the AFCD's website for details of the barbecue sites.
From September to December this year, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department organises the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge to encourage nature lovers and hikers to set off for the countryside and take on the challenge! Go outside and hike through the country parks, immerse yourself in the spectacular views and learn more about the unique stories of Hong Kong’s local flora and fauna, and discover the beauty of undulating mountain ridges. There are 25 checkpoints scattered in various scenic spots in the country parks, featuring a variety of picturesque views unique to Hong Kong’s countryside. Participants can plan their own routes to visit these checkpoints based on their interest, physical fitness and hiking experience. Use a smartphone to check in at the checkpoints to collect the unique local flora and fauna badges made for each checkpoint. You will also learn about the amazing biodiversity of Hong Kong! Collect a certain number of badges and you will get different rewards! Let the challenge begins! Here are the 3 checkpoints in Islands District: [ Checkpoint 1: Lo Fu Tau Viewing Point ] Location: Lantau North (Ext.) Country Park | Difficulty: ★★★Trail: Lo Fu Tau Country Trail Lo Fu Tau Sword Testing Stone | Open location on map There are two viewpoints at the top of Lo Fu Tau that offer very different views, one faces north towards the airport and Tuen Mun, and the other faces south towards Discovery Bay Reservoir and the golf course. The rolling mountain ranges, with strange rocks protruding here and there, are like a beautiful landscape painting. In autumn, the silvergrass and other wild grasses on the hills turn golden, like a tiger's dazzling fur. [ Checkpoint 2: Lantau Trail Section 2 ] Location: Lantau South Country Park | Difficulty: ★★★Trail: Silvergrass on Sunset Peak and Stone Chalets Lantau Trail (Section 2) Nam Shan to Pak Kung Au South Lantau Country Trail | Open location on map The third highest mountain in Hong Kong, Sunset Peak offers spectacular views of South Lantau. The mountain is undoubtedly the most popular attraction of late autumn, as visitors flock to capture its glistening cape of silvergrass in the slanting sun. Away from the lights of the city, the mountain brings you closer to the infinite sky, feast your eyes on the ever-changing views of sunrise and sunset and immerse in nature as the sea of clouds floats towards and over you. [ Checkpoint 3: Nei Nak Shan Country Trail ] Location: Lantau North Country Park | Difficulty: ★★Trail: Nei Lak Shan Country Trail | Open location on map Nei Lak Shan Country Trail offers varied views of Tung Chung City to the east and the flying chessboard of the airport to the north. In spring and summer, the hills are encompassed in fog, while in autumn and winter, the blanket of silvergrass is in full bloom. The route overlaps midway with the cable car ropeway, providing opportunities to photograph cable cars zooming overhead. At dusk, the spectacular view of Ngong Ping Village and the Big Buddha is enhanced with the setting sun in the background. For more about the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge event, please visit the "Hong Kong Hiking Challenge" website. (The images and the information are provided by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
From September to December this year, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department organises the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge to encourage nature lovers and hikers to set off for the countryside and take on the challenge! Go outside and hike through the country parks, immerse yourself in the spectacular views and learn more about the unique stories of Hong Kong’s local flora and fauna, and discover the beauty of undulating mountain ridges. There are 25 checkpoints scattered in various scenic spots in the country parks, featuring a variety of picturesque views unique to Hong Kong’s countryside. Participants can plan their own routes to visit these checkpoints based on their interest, physical fitness and hiking experience. Use a smartphone to check in at the checkpoints to collect the unique local flora and fauna badges made for each checkpoint. You will also learn about the amazing biodiversity of Hong Kong! Collect a certain number of badges and you will get different rewards! Let the challenge begin! Here are the 15 checkpoints in Kowloon and the New Territories: [ Checkpoint 1: Hong Kong Reunification Pavilion (Kowloon Pass) ] Location: Lion Rock Country Park | Difficulty: ★★ Trail: MacLehose Trail (Section 5) Tate's Cairn to Tai Po Road | Open location on map The Hong Kong Reunification Pavilion was built in 1997 to commemorate Hong Kong's reunification with the Motherland, and it bears the inscription of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa. From the pavilion, you can enjoy the cityscape of Kowloon in a myriad of lights and the Victoria Harbour. With the bustling city just beneath you, and mountains stretching out behind you, this combination weaves into a picturesque landscape second to none. [ Checkpoint 2: Biu Tsim Kok ] Location: Sai Kung East Country Park | Difficulty: ★Trail: Biu Tsim Kok - Viewing Points | Open location on map "Biu Tsim Kok" is a headland to the north of the High Island Reservoir East Dam. The hills are composed of volcanic hexagonal rock columns, creating a spectacular geological collage. This is one of the few places where you can see the hexagonal volcanic pillars from above, making it a popular spot for visitors to 'check in'. [ Checkpoint 3:Kiu Tsui Viewing Point ] Location: Kiu Tsui Country Park | Difficulty: ★ Trail: Sharp Island Geo Trail|Enjoy Hiking - Sharp Island - Waterscapes Sharp Island Country Trail | Open location on map Sharp Island located in Port Shelter, Sai Kung, hosts a Geo Trail and a Country Trail. At high tide, Sharp Island and Kiu Tau are two islands; at low tide, a tombolo connecting the two islands is exposed, allowing visitors to access the islands on foot. The island's trails also offer a great view from Kiu Tsui Viewing Point to the east over the vast grasslands of Kau Sai Chau and Yim Tin Tsai area, or to the west over the tombolo. [ Checkpoint 4: Kei Ling Ha Coast (near Yung Shue O) ] Location: Sai Kung West Country Park |Difficulty: ★ Trail: Cheung Sheung Country Trail | Open location on map Yung Shue O is located in the inner bay of Three Fathoms Cove, a calm bay full of fishing rafts. Three Fathoms Cove is surrounded by mountains, with the villages of San Wai and Lo Wai built along its shoreline, and huts scattered around the hillside, giving off a fishing village vibe. Nearby is the Cheung Sheung Country Trail; Cheung Sheung is a wetland on a highland surrounded by mountains. [ Checkpoint 5: Tai Hang Tun Kite Flying Area Viewing Point ] Location: Clear Water Bay Country Park | Difficulty: ★ Trail: Lung Ha Wan Country Trail Tai Hang Tun Kite-Flying Area | Open location on map The lush green hillside near Tai Hang Tun is Hong Kong's most open and scenic kite-flying site, offering a panoramic view of Hong Kong's south-eastern waters, from the Ninepin Group, Green Island, Tung Lung Chau, to Wang Lang Island, Beaufort Island and other islands in the south. Located on the eastern side of Hong Kong, far from the city's light pollution, the Kite Flying Area is ideal for star and moon gazing at night. At Tai Hang Tun, anyone, from children to grown-ups, can discover a unique and enjoyable countryside experience. [ Checkpoint 6: Kowloon Peak Viewing Point ] Location: Ma On Shan Country Park | Difficulty: ★ Trail: Sunset at Kowloon Peak Wilson Trail (Section 4) Tseng Lan Shue to Shatin Pass Road | Open location on mapFrom Kowloon Peak Viewing Point, you can enjoy the proximate view of Kowloon Peninsula, and on a clear day, even the view on both sides of the Victoria Harbour is clearly visible. As the sun sets and the sky blazes with different shades of orange-red with ever-changing clouds, the city lights up as if it is hustling for the next round of festivities. The splendid scene dotted with vivid colours is definitely a sight to behold. [ Checkpoint 7: Beacon Hill Viewing Point ] Location: Lion Rock Country Park | Difficulty: ★★Trail: MacLehose Trail (Section 5) Tate's Cairn to Tai Po Road | Open location on map Beacon Hill, named after the pen rest it resembles from a distance, offers a breath-taking view of the entire Kowloon Peninsula that even stretches to as far as Tseung Kwan O and Chai Wan. At sunset, you can fully take in the views of the blinking lights of the dynamic and vibrant city while basking in the warm rays of the receding sun. [ Checkpoint 8: Kowloon Reservoir ] Location: Kam Shan Country Park |Difficulty: ★ Trail: MacLehose Trail (Section 6) Tai Po Road to Shing Mun Kam Shan Tree Walk Kam Shan Family Walk | Open location on map A walk through Kam Shan Country Park brings the view of all four reservoirs of the Kowloon Reservoir Group– Kowloon Reservoir, Kowloon Secondary Reservoir, Kowloon Receiving Reservoir and Shek Lei Pui Reservoir. Attention often falls on Kowloon Reservoir, with its famous arched main dam, the valve house and the overflow dam, all of which are declared monuments. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city while you immerse in the calmness of the vast reservoir and the reflection of the sky. [ Checkpoint 9: Shing Mun Leisure Deck ] Location: Shing Mun Country Park | Difficulty: ★ Trail: Shing Mun Leisure Deck | Open location on map Shing Mun Leisure Deck is a viewing point located on the eastern slope of Shing Mun Reservoir surrounded by the Reservoir and lush green mountains. When the water level is high in the reservoir, the Paperbark plantation is reflected everywhere, curating a poetic landscape of a picturesque mix of mountains and trees. [ Checkpoint 10: Tai Mo Shan Country Park Viewing Point (North) ] Location: Tai Mo Shan Country Park | Difficulty: ★★ Trail: Silvergrass on Tai Mo Shan MacLehose Trail (Section 8) Lead Mine Pass to Route Twisk | Open location on map Tai Mo Shan is Hong Kong's highest peak, serving a 180-degree view of the Kam Tin plain from the northern viewing point. From high above, you can see as far as Lam Tsuen, Kai Kung Leng, Tai To Yan, and even Shenzhen. Tai Mo Shan offers different seasonal specials: in summer, the setting sun falls over Kam Tin plain at Pat Heung, colouring the distant Lau Fau Shan orange; in autumn and winter, the silvergrass dancing in the strong winds is common at this height. Looking back down from the peak, the view of the meandering road is a unique landmark of Tai Mo Shan. [ Checkpoint 10: Tai Mo Shan Country Park Viewing Point (North) ] [ Checkpoint 11: MacLehose Trail Section 9 Viewing Point ] Location: Tai Lam Country Park | Difficulty: ★ Trail: MacLehose Trail (Section 9) Route Twisk to Tin Fu Tsai | Open location on map This viewing point offers a panoramic view of Tsuen Wan, Rambler Channel and Stonecutters Island. Look further and observe countless ships busy scuttling within Victoria Harbour. Turn your sight to the container terminals, decorated by rainbow-coloured containers stacked up like a neat map of building bricks. [ Checkpoint 12: Reservoir Islands Viewpoint ] Location: Tai Lam Country Park | Difficulty: ★Trail: MacLehose Trail (Section 10) Tin Fu Tsai to Tuen Mun | Open location on map The Tai Lam Chung Reservoir, also known as Thousand-Island Lake, was completed in 1957 as the first reservoir built in Hong Kong after the Second World War. Located in an undulating river valley, the sight of islands of various sizes magically materialised after the area was flooded with water stored. The islands are vegetated with Chinese Red Pine, Slash Pine, Swamp Mahogany and Lemon-scented Gum, creating a lush green landscape on Thousand-Island Lake. [ Checkpoint 13: Lai Chi Wo Siu Ying Story Room ] Location: Plover Cove Country Park | Difficulty: ★ Trail: Lai Chi Wo Lai Chi Wo Nature Trail | Open location on map The ancient Hakka village of Lai Chi Wo has a history of over 400 years; it is named after lychee which was once produced in abundance. The village has retained its traditional Hakka character in many aspects. With over 100 years of history, the village's ancestral hall, the Hip Tin Temple and the Hok Shan Monastery are listed as Grade III historic buildings. A trip to Lai Chi Wo sends you back in time to the old days of Hong Kong for a deep sense of the unique traditional Hakka culture. [ Checkpoint 14: Cloudy Hill ] Location: Pat Sin Leng Country Park | Difficulty: ★★★ Trail: Wilson Trail (Section 8) Yuen Tun Ha to Cloudy Hill Wilson Trail (Section 9) Cloudy Hill to Pat Sin Leng | Open location on map Surrounded by serene valleys and lush green hillsides, Cloudy Hill is located at the junction of Sections 8 and 9 of the Wilson Trail. Atop its undulating ridge, breath-taking views of Tai Po City and Tolo Harbour unravel beneath you, immerse in this mountain paradise as a quick getaway from the repetitive city life. [ Checkpoint 15: Pak Tai To Yan Pavilion ] Location: Lam Tsuen Country Park |Difficulty: ★★★ Open location on map Tai To Yan literally means “large knife edge” in Chinese; from far, the mountain ridge resembles a knife blade resting on its spine with the edge pointing towards the sky. A narrow walkway lines the ridge sandwiched by near-vertical slopes on both sides. On top of the physical challenge, on a windy day, the hike might call for more willpower as you manoeuvre along the knife's edge. Take a break on the flat grass field and adjust the rhythm of your breath and your body before climbing the summit. For more about the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge event, please visit the "Hong Kong Hiking Challenge" website. (The images and the information are provided by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
From September to December this year, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department organises the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge to encourage nature lovers and hikers to set off for the countryside and take on the challenge! Go outside and hike through the country parks, immerse yourself in the spectacular views and learn more about the unique stories of Hong Kong’s local flora and fauna, and discover the beauty of undulating mountain ridges. There are 25 checkpoints scattered in various scenic spots in the country parks, featuring a variety of picturesque views unique to Hong Kong’s countryside. Participants can plan their own routes to visit these checkpoints based on their interest, physical fitness and hiking experience. Use a smartphone to check in at the checkpoints to collect the unique local flora and fauna badges made for each checkpoint. You will also learn about the amazing biodiversity of Hong Kong! Collect a certain number of badges and you will get different rewards! Let the challenge begin! Here are the 7 checkpoints on Hong Kong Island: [ Checkpoint 1: Dragon's Back Viewing Point ] Location: Shek O Country Park | Difficulty: ★★ Trail: Hong Kong Trail (Section 8) To Tei Wan to Tai Long Wan | Open location on map The ridge of Shek O Peak to Wan Cham Shan undulates like a giant dragon, hence the name "Dragon's Back". The viewing point at the highest point offers a panoramic view of Shek O, Tung Lung Island, Stanley and Tai Tam. Strolling along the shady paths along the hillside of Wan Cham Shan, drown yourself in the music of rustling trees and chirping birds as you embrace nature's tranquillity and comfort. [ Checkpoint 2: Tai Tam Byewash Reservoir ] Location: Tai Tam Country Park | Difficulty: ★Trail: Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Masonry Bridge | Open location on map The Tai Tam Reservoir Group is home to over 20 declared monuments including the upper reservoir's dam, masonry bridge and aqueduct, the byewash reservoir dam and valve house and Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir masonry bridge. The paths around the reservoirs form easy walks with breathtaking views between these special reservoirs, the landscape and the unique stone bridges and historic buildings. [ Checkpoint 3: Mount Butler Viewing Point ] Location: Tai Tam Country Park | Difficulty: ★★★Trail: Hong Kong Trail (Section 5) Wong Nai Chung Gap to Mount Parker Road | Open location on map Mount Butler Viewing Point is located in the centre of Hong Kong Island. Hikers along this route will climb Jardine's Lookout and Mount Butler back-to-back. With both mountains peaking at over 400 metres, Jardine's Lookout offers a view from Victoria Harbour to the bustling commercial area of Kowloon Peninsula. Mount Butler is reportedly the best viewing point on Hong Kong Island as it overlooks Lamma Island, the Tai Tam Reservoir Group, Stanley and the southern part of Hong Kong Island. [ Checkpoint 4: Sir Cecil's Ride Viewing Point ] Location: Tai Tam (Quarry Bay Ext.) Country Park |Difficulty: ★★ Trail: Tai Tam Country Park and Tai Tam Country Park (Quarry Bay Extension) | Open location on map The 17th Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Cecil Clementi, was said to have been a frequent equestrian on this route, which was then named after him. This trail overlaps with the 2-kilometre Quarry Bay Jogging Trail, which connects Mount Parker Road in the south to Choi Sai Woo of North Point in the north. The viewpoint near the northern start of the jogging trail offers panoramic views of the eastern part of Hong Kong and Kowloon, showcasing Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui to Lei Yue Mun. [ Checkpoint 5: Middle Gap Viewing Point ] Location: Aberdeen Country Park | Difficulty: ★★Trail: Hong Kong Trail (Section 4) Wan Chai Gap to Wong Nai Chung GapTai Hang Tun Kite-Flying Area | Open location on map Middle Gap is located in the centre of Hong Kong Island between Mount Cameron and Mount Nicholson, with Wanchai Gap to the west and Wong Nai Chung Gap to the east. Given its moderate elevation, the viewpoint still offers an amazing bird's eye view sweeping from the west to south, over Nam Long Shan, Ocean Park, Shouson Hill, Repulse Bay and Chung Hom Shan, as well as the small islands of Ngan Chau and Middle Island. [ Checkpoint 6: Mount High West Viewing Point ] Location: Pok Fu Lam Country Park | Difficulty: ★★★Trail: High West Viewing Point | Open location on map The fourth highest peak on Hong Kong Island, Mount High West separates the bustle of the Central and Western District from the tranquillity of the Southern District. After climbing more than 600 steps, you will reach the unobstructed peak and enjoy a panoramic view of the sea and sky of the West Lamma Channel. Near dusk, as the sun slowly descends behind the mountain ranges of Lantau Island, the sky, the sea and the Victoria Harbour are illuminated in a fiery red, while skyscrapers on both sides of the harbour glow in gold slowly transform into night lights. [ Checkinpoint 7: Lung Fu Shan Viewing Point ] Location: Lung Fu Shan Country Park | Difficulty: ★★Trail: Observation Post at High West Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail Pinewood Battery | Open location on map Lung Fu Shan Country Park is the smallest country park in Hong Kong, with Victoria Peak to the east, Mount High West to the south, Shek Tong Tsui to the north and Mount Davis to the west. Despite being petite, this country park is a conglomeration of rich natural ecology and historic backgrounds, including the renowned relics of Pinewood Battery. Lung Fu Shan Viewing Point was once an artillery observation post, but today the smoke and fumes are gone and only the setting sun remains, allowing visitors to enjoy the view of the western side of Hong Kong Island. For more about the Hong Kong Hiking Challenge event, please visit the "Hong Kong Hiking Challenge" website. (The images and the information are provided by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
Winner of The Ombudsman’s Awards 2020 for Officers of Public OrganisationsYip Sin Hang, Philip, Wetland and Fauna Conservation Officer (Enforcement) of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department“Communication is absolutely essential to complaint handling.” (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) "In 2018, our monkey trapping programme was extended to the peripheries of countryside, under which we proposed to place large cages in urban areas to capture the monkeys causing a nuisance. Nevertheless, our proposal was met with considerable resistance, so I led my team of colleagues to assiduously engage the stakeholders. A case in point is an operation carried out in the Wong Tai Sin District in 2019. With more than 30 monkeys trapped on that occasion, the district stakeholders were able to personally observe that our operation was carefully organised, safe and effective.We managed to convince the sceptical parties to lend their venues for us to place the cages, thereby cilitating the mitigation of monkey nuisance under the programme." For more details of The Ombudsman’s Awards 2020, please visit the Office of The Ombudsman website.
It is not uncommon to see a “fat snake” during an autumn hike since snakes often consume a lot of food in this season to accumulate fat for winter. Yet, remember to keep calm when you encounter a snake in the wild. Unless they are disturbed or defending their territories, under normal circumstances snakes do not actively attack or remain close to people. And NEVER attempt to catch a snake to avoid being bitten. Any case of snakebite should be sent to hospital as soon as possible for professional medical treatment. If a snake enters your house, you should call the Police’s hotline 999 immediately.Among the 14 venomous native land snake species in Hong Kong, only eight can inflict fatal bites (if not treated in time). There is no simple rule to determine whether a snake is venomous. The common view that all venomous snakes have triangular shaped heads is unreliable. The only reliable foolproof way to distinguish the two is to know all snake species well.Facebook Page “Mr. B Nature Classroom” has prepared some illustrations of venomous snakes in Hong Kong. Please check out the Facebook Page for more information about snakes. (The following illustrations provide Chinese descriptions only) For more details, please refer to the AFCD website
The Sweet Gum Woods in Tai Lam Country Park is a popular spot for enjoying autumn foliage every year. This year, don’t forget to wear a mask and keep social distancing when you are visiting the Woods for red leaves. You may also make reference to the Special Traffic News disseminated by Transport Department and the “Red leaves index” provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department before setting off your trip. Location of the Red Leaves: Sweet Gum WoodsMap: Tai Tong Shan RoadTransport InformationTake MTR bus route no. K66 at MTR Long Ping Station / Yuen Long Town or red minibuses at Hung Min Court and get off at Tai Tong Shan Road bus station. Walk along Tai Tong Shan Road uphill for about 60 minutes to reach Sweet Gum Woods. (*Please take note of the special traffic news from the Transport Department before setting off.) Special Traffic ArrangementMTR will operate a special service on Route K66A on 20.11.2022 and 27.11.2022, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays between 3.12.2022 and 15.1.2023, from Long Ping Station to Tai Tong Shan Road (MTR Hotline: 2881 8888). Road ClosureThe section of Tai Tong Shan Road between the Pavilion and Tai Tong Shan Road Car Park will be intermittently closed to all vehicular traffic from about 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. daily on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 3 December 2022 (Saturday) to 15 January 2023 (Sunday).Points to note:1) Please wear a mask, maintain good personal hygiene and keep social distancing.2) Share the use of the forest track. Safety comes first. Watch out for vehicles/bicycles.3) Share the natural scenery, refrain from stepping on or picking plants.4) Keep country parks clean. Sweet Gum Woods is a bin-free trail. Please take your litter home.5) Avoid one-off disposables. Let's go plastic-free.
If you are planning a hike, it is important to have the proper hiking gear. Take equipment according to your personal need and the nature of the activity. The checklist below is provided for reference. 1. Backpack - Place light items at the bottom, heavier items in the middle, and the heaviest ones on the top. Put less frequently used items first and frequently used ones on the sides. Be sure weight is equally balanced on each side.- It should not exceed one third of your body weight. The maximum weight is 40lb. 2. Hiking shoes - ide toe box hiking shoes with deep and thick lugs on outsole are preferable. 3. Socks 4. Shirt - Wear sun protective/moisture-wicking/breathable long-sleeved shirt with collar to avoid sunburn on your arms and the back of your neck. 5. Trousers - Sun protective/moisture-wicking/breathable loose-fitting trousers are preferable. 6. Towel/cooling towel/arm sleeves 7. Outer garments & windproof jacket/rain jacket 8. Hat, sunglasses, umbrella, gloves 9. Spare clothing 10. Hiking stick 11. Compass & map (countryside series published by the Lands Department) 12. Illumination device 13. Whistle 14. Food & emergency food: Bring portable and conveniently packaged food with high calories, e.g. glucose, raisins, and other high energy food. 15. Water bottle & water (drinking water refilling stations in Country Parks) 16. Personal drugs & first aid supplies 17. Sunscreen and mosquito repellent 18. Mobile phone & battery/charger & charging cable (Mobile Network Services in Country Parks) 18. Watch 20. Hong Kong Hiking Trail Weather Service For more details, please refer to the AFCD Enjoy Hiking website
Do you know how rich Hong Kong marine biodiversity is? Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has produced a new Hong Kong Marine Biodiversity video – 【Into the blue】. This video introduces the vast diversity of coastal habitats and marine life in Hong Kong. Enjoy the video and let's conserve our marine biodiversity altogether! (Information provided by provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)
(Image is designed by the student of Hong Kong Design Institute) In addition to emphasizing essential safety skills, mountain craft also encourages you to exercise your willpower and perseverance, and helps you develop communication, cooperation and problem solving skills. Mountain CraftIf you want to get closer to nature on an outdoor adventure to see natural views from high up, mountain craft, which consist of hiking and camping activities, is undoubtedly a perfect choice for you. But before setting out, remember that careful planning of the route and taking note of weather conditions are critically important to mountaineering activities as the mountains are dangerous. Basic equipment Safety always comes first when participating in mountaineering activities, and you must ensure the adequacy of all climbing equipment. In terms of clothing, participants should wear loose and comfortable clothes, and should bring hats, waterproof jackets, towels and extra clothes with them. Hiking shoes should also be worn to protect the feet and prevent slips and injuries. Also, hiking sticks are great for supporting you and helping you keep your balance.Bring maps, compasses, torches, whistles, multi-purpose pocket knives and sufficient food and drinking water, as well as insect repellent, personal medicine and a first aid kit with medicine, bandages and painkillers in case of emergencies.Activities such as camping require the preparation of many items such as tents, camp lights, cooking utensils, fuel, sleeping bags and personal cleaning products. As such, it is recommended to come up with a checklist of necessary items beforehand. Knot tying and protection Depending on the difficulty of the route, you should be equipped with items such as a karabiner, climbing rope and slings that are suited to the difficulty of your hiking route. In addition to this, participants need to be familiar with basic binding and hitching methods and the following types of knots: overhand knot, reef knot, single figure eight, double figure eight, follow through figure eight, clove hitch, round turn & two half hitch, bowline, double fisherman’s knot, etc. Proper employment of the equipment and tying techniques mentioned above will reduce the chances of injury significantly. Points to note when crossing rivers If a river must be crossed as part of the hiking route, climbers must be led by an experienced leader when crossing the river. You should always walk in shallow and slow-moving areas of the river during the crossing and should avoid wet rocks and tree trunks. Slip-proof hiking shoes should be worn during the crossing. A hiking stick should be used for balancing and path finding purposes during the crossing. Do not risk water wading unless it is necessary. For safety reasons, it is best to form a group of at least two and consider the adequacy of equipment, the opinions of group members and the water temperature before risking a river crossing. Mountain Craft training To promote greater awareness of mountaineering safety and techniques among participants through systematic training, the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union (formerly known as Hong Kong Mountaineering Union) offers specialized training courses such as the Mountain Craft Certificate Course which targets participants at different levels of expertise. The training courses include Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Mountain Craft Training Course and Mountain Craft Coach Training. All courses are taught by registered coaches. The aim of the courses is to cultivate further interest in mountaineering among participants while teaching them essential mountaineering skills and knowledge. For more information, please visit the official website of the China Hong Kong Mountaineering and Climbing Union or call 2504 8125 for enquiries.
"It is hoped that through the Trail Maintenance Workshops, the public would have a better understanding about our trail maintenance and management work." Country Parks Officer, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Yeung Fai-fai, Felix said.He added, "Have you ever imagined after the workshop, the attendees were all sweated, then they began to cherish our nature and would help to promote positive messages? This brought an explosive effect. The greatest satisfaction was being able to connect a group of people. We interacted with each other through the activity and trust was built up. This was very motivating indeed." Hong Kong abounds with beautiful country parks. The full array of hiking trails of about 500 km in total provides public trail users with convenient access to the countryside to enjoy the pleasure of outing.As the hiking trails are exposed to rainfall erosion over the years, coupled with the growing popularity of hiking and trail running activities in recent years, there is a rising need for trail repair and maintenance work. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), which is responsible for the construction, management and maintenance of the hiking trails, has been facing a big challenge.The Department has come up with a win-win solution which allows colleagues to pass down their skills and knowledge, and at the same time promotes public education in protecting and maintaining the hiking trails for their own use.AFCD generally adopts a “Leave No Trace” principle in the construction and maintenance works of hiking trails. Frontline staff use simple methods to construct the hiking trails according to the terrain, and make use of the on-site natural materials for maintenance works as far as possible.Yeung Fai-fai, Felix said, "In 2016, a local community group, the “Concern Group on Concretisation of Hong Kong Natural Trails”, raised concerns and debate over the Government’s use of concrete in building walkways in the countryside."He continued, "In the light of the public concern, AFCD organised activities to communicate with the relevant organisations. We also organised some trail maintenance workshops, hoping that the public and volunteers, through participating in the workshops, would better understand our work in hiking trails management and maintenance." The scheme has evolved from knowledge sharing communication, and public forums, to educating the public on the concepts of trail maintenance. Volunteers are also invitedto participate in the on-site construction and repair works. These activities enabled the public to understand the cause of soil erosion on the hiking trails, and to learn the maintenance method.The Country Parks Trail Maintenance Team of AFCD mobilised around 500 volunteers to participate in the trail maintenance workshops. Under the supervision of AFCD’s technicians, the volunteers rolled up their sleeves to repair the hiking trails. They assisted AFCD to continuously improve the trail facilities and to promote the spirit of “Repair Our Own Trails”.Volunteer Ngan Chung-man said, "I joined the Trailwalker previously, and when I was walking on the trails, I was not aware that they needed to be maintained. Like many Hong Kong people, I used to take things for granted. I realised afterwards that it was the effort of a team of people working on trail maintenance, which allowed us to enjoy the beautiful hiking trails."Senior Field Officer, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Chan Ka-lai, Carrie said, "The volunteers showed much appreciation for our effort after seeing the hard work we put in. Some of them told us, after helping in the maintenance work, that they are willing to jointly protect and conserve the hiking trails and will use them with care. I also note that there are lots of passionate trail users in Hong Kong. No matter how tired they are, they are willing to help repair the hiking trails on weekend holidays. We are truly touched by them."Through public engagement, the scheme enabled the trail users to experience trail maintenance work, and made them understand the importance of trail conservation. In the long run, the scheme aims at nurturing more volunteers to take part in the sustainable conservation work of hiking trails.Senior Field Assistant, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Lee Ma-fat said, "The volunteers treasure the hiking trails very much, so they instantly grasped what we taught them. There is a very large group of volunteers and they are highly motivated. We have the skills to carry out the construction and maintenance work, yet the biggest challenge lies in the transportation of materials, because that requires a lot of physical energy and manpower. At the moment, we have sufficient manpower drawn from a large pool of volunteers, and they are doing areally great job."Volunteer Siu Hing wo said, "Everytime I work as a volunteer, I have some reflections on nature. What is the relationship between human beings and nature? Are we the destroyer, the manager, or the protector of nature?"Yeung Fai-fai, Felix said, "When we communicate with the volunteers, we find that they are getting to understand our work better and recognise the value of our work. This has established a foundation of the trust between us and the volunteers. We anticipate to train more volunteers, and to build up a workforce in the long run, so as to work together to manage the hiking trails and conserve our natural resources."The scheme has been running for three years, and maintenance work involving 550m of trails was completed. The Green Earth, a local environmental organisation, hasapplied for funding from the Environment and Conservation Fund. Besides, some environmental organisations and uniformed groups, which also agree with the purpose of the scheme, are exploring ways for long term collaboration with AFCD. (For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)
People in Hong Kong have recently showed increasing interest in searching for mushrooms in the wild or by the roadside. Most nature lovers are curious about the myriad shapes, sizes, colors and forms of mushrooms, while others are interested in edibility of mushrooms. Because mushrooms are pretty difficult to tell apart and the edibility of many mushrooms is still unknown, people should never try tasting any wild mushrooms collected themselves. Things to remember for appreciating mushrooms: 1. Do not eat mushrooms picked from country parks or natural environments. Mushroom species are extremely diverse, and their morphology is always ambiguous and the edibility is largely unknown. 2. Do not eat mushrooms from roadside planting areas or urban parks since planting soil may be contaminated with heavy metals, poisonous pollutants or pesticides. 3. Do not trust any folklore, such as simple tests or colors, for edibility. The deadly poisonous mushrooms are unremarkably white, yellow-brown or brown. 4. Do not eat raw mushrooms picked from the wild and in supermarket. Some chemical compounds in raw mushrooms, such as hydrazines, may make you sick. 5. Many mushrooms that have combined features of a membranous ring or large volva on the stalk, scales or warts on the surface of the cap are poisonous. 6. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching any mushrooms in the wild. 7. If you experience symptoms of poisoning, consult a doctor or go to a hospital immediately. Take the uncooked mushrooms with you and give them to your doctor. Click here to know more about the nine most common poisonous mushrooms and identify those morphological features, associated toxins and onset of mushroom poisoning symptoms.
During weekends, many people like to go cycling with their friends. But are you cyclists interested in cycling on rugged hilly terrains, dirt roads or even gravel paths? Currently, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has set up 15 designated mountain bike trails in country parks for mountain biking activities, three of which are located in south Lantau. One of the largest training grounds in Asia The CEDD has implemented improvement and expansion works for the mountain bike trail networks in south Lantau in phases. Chief Engineer of the Sustainable Lantau Office (SLO), Ms LAU Yiu-yan, Joyce, said that the first phase of the works aims mainly to improve the existing sections from Pui O to Kau Ling Chung and Chi Ma Wan for safer and better riding experience through strengthened control of soil erosion. The second phase of the works focuses on the construction of a new mountain bike training ground of about 4.5 hectares near Lai Chi Yuen Tsuen, which will become one of the largest training grounds in the Asian region, and on the expansion of several trails at the Mui Wo and Chi Ma Wan sections to form a circular network. Providing trails of different riding difficulties We found at the site that the construction of the training ground was nearing completion. Engineer of the SLO, Mr PANG Siu-tuen, Walter, said that the training ground provides trails of different riding difficulties for beginner, intermediate and advanced cyclists. Beginners can start with undulating trails, and then progress to a narrow skinny that allows only one bike to go through at a time. Different facilities cater for different levels of riders. To add more fun to the trails, the training ground was specially built with trails of different technical features, including berms, jumps, rock garden, switchback turns and pump tracks. For that purpose, the CEDD had specially invited an expert rider to help with the design. The Singaporean trail specialist of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Mr H.M. LIM, gave live demonstrations and explained that trails of different challenging levels and features are normally designed to suit the actual site conditions. During construction, the design team had tried a range of options while developing different trails. Sustainable project design The Engineer, Mr Walter PANG, said that as the mountain bike trails in south Lantau fall within the country park area, their designs are all in line with the sustainable construction principle. For instance, the alignment has been designed to follow the terrains to avoid tree felling as far as possible so as to retain the original look of the country park; natural materials that are locally available have been used in projects such as the rock garden in the training ground that were laid with rocks collected from construction sites; hand tools or small machines have been used to avoid causing environmental damage, etc. In addition, as the tiny Romer’s tree frogs, a species unique to Hong Kong, were found on the site during construction, the original gathering place for riders was redesigned and relocated somewhere far away from the tree frogs. Furthermore, our colleagues have considered ways to extend the life cycle of the trails and reduce their need for maintenance. For instance, crossfall has been used as far as possible to drain away the surface runoff, and crushed stones have been placed at suitable locations to improve drainage performance, which will in turn prevent soil erosion and safeguard the users of mountain bike trails. Promoting healthy living The training ground has been already opened to the public. With its opening, the training ground will not only host training for beginners, but also provide mountain bike trails that meet the international standard for holding competition events, which can help nurture more local bikers and promote the development of mountain biking in Hong Kong. Hope that the novice, expert and enthusiastic riders will all make good use of the new training ground and the existing mountain bike trails in south Lantau, and enjoy the fun of mountain biking while taking pleasure in the beautiful, natural scenery of the country park. (The video is broadcasted in Cantonese) (The video is provided by Development Bureau)
Some people enjoy feeding monkeys, some worry that the monkeys are starving in the wild and they want to help them by feeding. However, they are not aware of its negative consequences to both monkeys and people, such as: - Becoming dependent on humans for food and lost their foraging instincts;- Becoming overpopulated, causing the ecosystem unbalanced;- Losing natural fear to humans, even snatching plastic bags or food held by people; and- Causing nuisance to the residents in the nearby areas. Statutory ProtectionMonkeys are protected wild animals in Hong Kong. Under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170), except in accordance with a special permit, no person shall hunt, willfully disturb, sell or in his possession of any protected wild animals taken from Hong Kong. Upon conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment for one year. Kam Shan, Lion Rock and Shing Mun Country Parks, part of Tai Mo Shan Country Park, Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, a section of Tai Po Road parallel to Caldecott Road and Piper's Hill section of Tai Po Road are specified places under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170) at which the feeding of any wild animals are prohibited. The implementation of feeding ban is intended to reduce the monkeys' reliance on human feeding, and to make the monkeys revert to foraging in the countryside on their own. Anyone contravening the feeding restriction is liable to a maximum fine of HK$10,000 upon conviction. The AFCD arranges regular patrol at the feeding ban area, and will take immediate prosecution actions against anyone who has fed monkeys or other wild animals. Monkey Contraceptive ProgrammeSince 2007, AFCD has regularly arranged monkey contraceptive operations for monkeys in Kam Shan, Lion Rock and Shing Mun Country Parks. AFCD also monitors the changes in monkey populations so as to control their number in the long run. According to the population monitoring, the birth rate of monkeys in Kam Shan, Lion Rock and Shing Mun Country Parks has noticeably decreased from about 78% in 2008 to about 35% in recent years. The total number of monkeys has dropped by more than 23% from 2008 to 2016, and has maintained at about 1,650 from 2014 to 2016. AFCD continues to monitor the changes of monkey populations and perform neutering treatments for more monkeys.
Once you have decided to go camping, the first thing to do is to choose the site and to plan the duration of your stay, the equipment to take, and the amount of food that you will need, well in advance. The following guidelines may help.LocationCheck the location and site of the site and plan your route to it. The camp sites within the Country Parks are on a “first-come-first-served” basis (*Except for those who reserve camping spaces in Twisk Campsite at Tai Lam Country Park through the advance booking system), so during weekends and public holidays when many campers will be competing for limited facilities, you are advised to arrive at the camp sites early. Please remember that under the Country Park and Special Area Regulations, you are not allowed to camp other than in a designated camp site which can be identified by the sign boards erected by the Country and Marine Parks Authority.The rucksackYour rucksack should be spacious, of good shape and very strong. In packing a rucksack, you should remember the principle of last in last in first out, things like raincoat, windbreaker or poncho should be placed on the uppermost part. It is desirable to fill up all the empty spaces with plastic bags, newspaper or clothing.The centre of gravity should preferably be located near the top of the rucksack. All these will make it more comfortable for you to carry.The tentA good tent is one that is strong enough to protect you against the elements. It should have a waterproof ground sheet, mosquito netting and a flysheet.ClothingTake some spare clothing for wet or cold weather and some spare plastic bags to keep clothes dry.EquipmentBlanket/sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils are basic items. Don’t forget to take a mini-sized radio with you, plus a whistle; a map (the countryside series are very useful); a torch and spare batteries (never use a gas lantern inside the tent); a sharp pocket knife; spare guy ropes and a first aid kit. Pitching the campLay out the tent with the rear fully to the direction of the wild. Use the strongest tent pegs for the main guys. Pegs should be pushed into the ground at 45o away from the tent and the guys made as long as possible. If the ground sheet is not sewn-in, it should be positioned entirely inside the tent so that water cannot run off the tent onto the ground sheet.CookingFire is a major hazard to both the tent and the countryside. When the red fire danger signal is in force use dry provisions and do not light any fire. Always cook outside the tent, in the fire places provided.HygieneBoil stream water drinking and make sure that the source from which the water is taken is clean. SecurityCamping in remote sites should be carried out in groups of not less than five persons. It is advisable to inform the nearest police station of your intention to camp and the location of camp site you plan to use.EmergenciesBe prepared for emergencies. You should know your area well and know the nearest police station. Always take a first aid kit with you and make sure that someone in your group knows how to use it and administer first aid.If any accident occurs, do not panic - stay together, keep calm, take stock of your situation and decide what to do. Cool heads and common sense will be your greatest assets.In the case of a serious injury, keep the patient comfortable, give first aid and only move him if it is essential. Send someone to the nearest point (the nearest telephone/ police station/country park management centre) for help. If your party is larger than four, send two people with a written message. It is important that the message is written because your messengers may arrive tired or exhausted and a verbal message will be garbled and unintelligible. The message must be written before the messengers leave and must contain full information such as the location, time, nature of the accident, the number of persons injured and weather conditions. Leave the SiteRemember to remove all pegs. Stones for securing the tent should also be removed.Refill any holes and extinguish all fires. Last but not least, remember to remove all rubbish. When you leave the campsite,apart from the marks of crushed grass where tents have been pitched, there should be no other signs that you have been there.Country CodeGet to know the Country Code, which tells you all you need to know about what you should and should not do in the countryside:Do not destroy by fire or vandalismDo not spoil with litter and dirtDo not pollute water catchment areas, streams or reservoirsDo not destroy vegetation and wildlife (For more details, please click here to read the Camping Guide provided by Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department)