Shek O beach to D’Aguilar Peak

An off trail hike.

Photographer Peter Lam:

… D’Aguilar Peninsula (named after Sir George Charles D’Aguilar, former Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong) is located on the south-eastern end of Hong Kong Island. The major mount in the area is D’Aguilar Peak, at 325m, where a radio transmission station and numerous terrestrial antennae are installed.

At the southern end of the peninsula, Cape D’Aguilar (also known as Hok Tsui 鶴咀) is the site of a Marine Reserve – The Swire Institute of Marine Science. Here you will also find the Cape D’Aguilar Lighthouse (or the Hok Tsui Beacon), the oldest lighthouse in Hong Kong and a declared historical monument. …

Off-Trail on D’Aguilar Peninsula


Marine Reserve

Hong Kong offers some of the best urban hiking in the world. 🙂

Morrell Nature Sanctuary, Nanaimo

11km of temperate rain forest trails. No mountain bikes allowed.


Morrell Nature Sanctuary is a privately owned nature reserve leased and managed by Morrell Sanctuary Society for Environmental Education, a not-for-profit organization managed by volunteers …

Watch for gnome homes on the (wheelchair accessible) Yew Loop trail.

gnome homes


trip report – Trail Exploration In Nanaimo

related – TripAdvisor reviews

10 Great City Hikes

Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro
Great Coastal Walk, Sydney
Thames Path, London
Hoerikwaggo Trail, Cape Town
Berlin Wall Trail, Berlin
Seawall, Vancouver
South Mountain Park, Phoenix
Coast to Coast Walk, Auckland
Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
Hong Kong Trail, Hong Kong

Lonely Planet – Ten of the world’s best city hikes

Only the Hoerikwaggo Trail and Hong Kong Trail are included on our list of the best hikes in the world.

Rio does look GREAT, however. 🙂


Everest Estate disaster

by site editor Rick McCharles

Colonel Sir George Everest (July 4, 1790 — December 1, 1866) was a Welsh surveyor and geographer, and the Surveyor General of India from 1830 through 1843.

GeorgeEverestEverest was largely responsible for completing the Great Trigonometric Survey of India along the meridian arc from southern India extending north to Nepal, a distance of about 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi). …

Many consider the Trigonometric Survey one of the greatest accomplishments of man.

He was a “humourless individual having the knack of putting everyone’s back up. But since he was a genius, his antisocial habits have been glossed over.”

– Trekking Holidays in India

He did not want Chomolungma to be named for himself. George might never have seen Everest. And had no interest in it. After all, he was Surveyor General of India. The world’s highest peak is on the Tibet / Nepal border.

Sir George Everest’s House and Laboratory, also known as the Park Estate, is situated about 6 kilometres (4 mi) from the Mall in Mussoorie.


… The house is situated in a place from where one can catch the panoramic view of Doon Valley on one side and a panoramic view of the Aglar River valley and the snowbound Himalayan ranges on the other.

The house is under the jurisdiction of the Archeological Survey of India and has been long neglected. …


… The floor is littered with bricks, stones and cow dung. The house is also used as shelter from rain and snow by the cows, goats and horses from the nearby village. Its walls are covered with graffiti, which are mostly declarations of love. …


Day hiking (part of the Benog Tibba Circuit) to visit his former Estate, I bumped into a Christian evangelist, Ray Eicher, whose family have lived in India for generations. He set me in the right direction, in a couple of ways.

Everest Estate, Mussoorie-4

Everest Estate, Mussoorie

Everest Estate, Mussoorie-2

Everest Estate, Mussoorie-3

more of my photos

more Everest Estate photos

This kind of neglect of historical monuments is typical in India. My evangelist friend, who lives nearby, is sorely disappointed.

The historic Clock Tower in Mussoorie was recently torn down. At this point, plans to rebuild are stalled.


…. Sir George Everest’s surname is pronounced … Eve-rest with “Eve” pronounced as in the woman’s name. …

scrambling Piestewa Peak, Phoenix

False summits discourage some non-hikers, but I loved the most acclaimed urban peak climb in Phoenix, Arizona.


Vistas from the top are fantastic.


… The Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak) Summit Trail (elevation gain = 1,190 feet in 1.2 miles) is climbed thousands of times per week by locals and visitors seeking a cardio-vascular workout, great views, or a family outing. However, quite a few hikers do not actually reach the top due to the fact that this trail is more difficult than it looks, especially in the summer when temperatures are well over 100 °F. No water is available on the trail and dehydration is a common and serious problem with hikers who come unprepared. …

The hike itself takes anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes depending on each hiker’s capabilities in fair weather (higher temperatures and sunny conditions may force the hiker to take twice as long). A beginning hiker should allow 60 minutes for a leisurely ascent and 30 for descent. The path is mostly well marked.

… There are a few sections that are technically difficult as they are steep and there are no guard rails.

There are approximately fifteen miles of interconnecting trails in the Preserve, ranging from easy to difficult.

Arizona is one of the best places to hike in North America. In February. 🙂

Rick Piestewa

Best hiking in Hong Kong

Tim Cheung:

Highly addictive, mildly dangerous: four hiking gurus come clean about their obsession

300 kilometers of designated trails, varying in length and difficulty, traverse the territory and many locals hike religiously.

To really experience Hong Kong get out to one of the four major hiking trails: the MacLehose Trail, Wilson Trail, Hong Kong Trail or Lantau Trail.

Travel CNN

Click through for advice on perhaps the best urban hiking area in the world.

Long Ke Wan

related – Budget Hong Kong: Coward’s Route To Victoria Peak

wandering Boracay, Philippines

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

How long can a hiker lie around on a Beach before getting bored?

Not long.

Boracay is an island of the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila …

The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide …

Once a day I’d take off jogging wherever tourists do not go.

I checked out the dump. Excellent. And watched how trash is collected. Very efficiently.

Bottles are recycled.

Here is a tourist attraction, a Zorb run. Unfortunately the Zorb doesn’t roll unless a group arrives together, pre-booked. Otherwise I would have signed up.

On another lonely road I found two new born goats. Mama nowhere to be found. When I jogged back a half hour later, they were still there.

The highlight was navigating narrow alleys where the poorest folks eek out a living. I didn’t take any photos, but it looks something like this.

Actually, the people looked surprisingly healthy and happy. The animals sickly and pitiful. In fact, I saw an emaciated cat in it’s death throes, ignored by one and all. There was no way I could put it out of its misery.

Very best of all was arriving at a new Mosque being built by the minority Muslim population. Clearly it will be the pride and joy of the community, once finished. They asked how it compared with Mosques in Canada. Equally grand, I told them.

… It was always good to get back to my inexpensive hotel for a shower and a rest.

Before the long rest.

See more photos or check my Boracay holiday posts.

Shing Mun Reservoir hike, Hong Kong

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

On advice of the The Inside Guide to Hikes and Walks in Hong Kong booklet distributed free by Hong Kong Tourism, I set off for what they call “Shing Mun Reservoir” (11km) in the New Territories.

It’s easy to get to the trailhead by public transit — except on Sunday afternoons in November when the bus is PACKED. Huge groups were organizing barbecue parties in Shek O Country Park.

I checked in first at the small Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Centre and was greeted by these local critters …

That’s a Barking Deer. Weird.

It’s an easy up from the Visitor Centre on well marked and maintained trails.

But at one point, the trail became a paved road. Not awesome. I opted to detour instead under the peak passing the Youth Hostel. This turned out to be the right decision.

Since I never got to the top of the mountain, I left a Summit Stone in this outcropping, my lunch stop.

Here are my favourite cookies. Buy them.

Once past the hostel, I saw only these two other hikers the rest of the day.

I was off-trail of course, yet some kind of path was flagged all the way down.

It led me to a Chinese graveyard.

Many memorials had tables and stools to welcome visits from surviving family and friends.

Eventually I found my way to a bus stop. And back to the subway. It’s not all that easy to get “lost” in Hong Kong, one of the advantages of an urban hike.

Great adventure. … On my advice another couple from the hostel tried the same thing — and also had FUN times inventing their own route down the mountain.

See more photos from my day hike.

first hike Hong Kong

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Arriving at my hostel after midnight, I was pleased to meet local hiker Michael Edesess at 8:30am next morning.

He explained that hiking Hong Kong usually meant a short subway trip, a shorter walk through a modern shopping mall … and directly on to the trail!

Well signed. Well maintained. Super popular tracks.

… This must be the best major city in the world for getting on a trail quickly and easily.

Michael clearly had a destination in mind …

And here it is.

We finished at Groucho’s on Stanley beach for Michael’s favourite Belgian brew and a burger.

This is urban hiking!

more photos from our day hike

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