Hong Kong Hikers is a bunch of enthusiastic hikers which stands out in two main ways from the several other hiking groups in Hong Kong: firstly we have a frequent programme of weekday hikes in addition to some at weekends, and secondly we have a strong focus on safety and competence when organising and running the hikes. We also take care to organise hikes catering for a wide range of fitness levels, and try to ensure that we get out in all the major hiking areas across the territory.
Most of the hikes we run are Social Hikes, which means that we're not racing against the clock and that the focus is on an enjoyable outing in the company of fellow hikers. Almost every week there is a Friday Hike which is almost always a relatively easy social hike, generally suitable for beginners, and the best way for new people to get to know the group and the way we organise our hikes. We take it as gently as necessary to accommodate the less fast hikers, and we often finish with the option of food and drink. We also try to run a social hike suitable for beginners most weekends (most often on Sundays).
We also run harder social hikes where the route will involve more hill climbing and the pace will generally be somewhat faster than the easier Friday Hikes, but still the focus is on a nice day out in good company, not on racing. At the moment these hikes tend to be on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and one day most weekends (most often on Saturdays).
There are generally a few of our members in training for various long distance hiking events or races at any time, so we also run Hard & Fast hikes as part of training for those. These are most often on Wednesday or Thursdays, but sometimes other days, depending on people's commitments. These are also generally "invitation only" to minimise disruption to people's training programmes. Again, talk to a Hike Leader if you'd like an invitation.
Note that over the very hot summer months, with many people also away, the programme tends to be reduced somewhat, both in the frequency of hikes and their difficulty or speed, but we continue to hike throughout the year.
Hike Organisation & Legal Issues
Hong Kong Hikers is an amateur hiking group and has no legal existence as a society or company. Individual hike leaders select hike routes and guide the group on them, but neither they nor Hong Kong Hikers take responsibility for individual hikers. By signing up to join a hike you take responsibility for reading the hike description, for ensuring that you have sufficient fitness to undertake it, and for being suitably equipped and supplied on the day. There is no charge for joining any hike beyond what you need to pay for your own use of public transport (or sometimes a share of a taxi) to get to or from the hike.
Having said that, all the Hike Leaders carry, and have at least a basic competence in using, the appropriate maps, and they all have at least basic first aid knowledge. The hike leader (or one of the other experienced hikers) will always carry a basic first aid kit.
We welcome minors (i.e. people under the age of 18) accompanied by a parent or legal guardian on any hike of which they are capable; the children remain the responsibility of the parent or guardian at all times. On an exceptional case-by-case basis, and at the absolute discretion of the Hike Leader, we may accept unaccompanied minors aged 13 or over on some of our hikes. In order for the minor to be considered for the hike a Parental Consent Form must be completed in advance. If you are a minor (or the parent of a minor) who wishes to join our hikes, please contact the Group Manager when you join the group so that we can get the Parental Consent Form in place before you join any hikes. We cannot accept minors under the age of 13 as members of the group, nor on any of our hikes unless they are accompanied by a parent.
We also welcome well-behaved dogs on our hikes, but ask that you let the Hike Leader know in advance so that other hikers can be alerted to their presence. The owner must be confident that the dog has the fitness for the hike to be undertaken, and ensure that they carry sufficient water for the dog as well as themselves.
However, for reasons of legal liability, we do not generally accept guests on our hikes except accompanied children and dogs: all participants should sign up individually. Occasionally hike organizers make make an exception to this rule on a case-by-case basis at their absolute discretion - please contact them well in advance of the hike if you wish to bring a guest along.
Hong Kong Hikers is always looking for more people who are interested in organising and leading hikes. The basic criteria are:
Be safety conscious
Be competent in using the Countryside Series of maps.
Have a basic knowledge of First Aid, and be prepared to carry a basic first aid kit
Be familiar with the routes you plan to lead (and have thought through possible exit routes in the event of difficulties)
Be aware of your own limits as a hiker, and particularly be alert to the situation of the hikers around you
Be enthusiastic and keen to help people of all abilities enjoy the Hong Kong countryside!
Please talk to Steve P if you are interested in leading hikes with the group. And if you have any bright ideas for how the group could be better organised please also talk to Steve P or any of the other Hike Leaders.
At the moment the leaders we have are:
Born in the UK, I grew up in Snowdonia, North Wales. Forests and hills have always had a place in my heart. I moved to Hong Kong in January 2013 and I am pretty new to the hiking scene of Hong Kong and although I have done a few hikes by myself, it has only been since August 2014 that I started hiking seriously as part of a self imposed fitness regime which goes to the side when I find a pub at the end of a route. I do like fast, long & hard hikes and also like to explore new trails and have been known to push the limit but then I can be lazy and do a slow hike which ends in a swim. It is all just good old outdoors fun.
Born in the UK, I have lived in Asia since 1990, and in Hong Kong since 2006. I have always enjoyed hiking and the outdoors and try to hike at least three times each week. I enjoy all kinds of hikes from regular social hikes to longer ultra hikes. My favorites routes to lead are in Lantau but I can easily be convinced to organize hikes in other parts of Hong Kong if I know the route. I have participated in a number of Oxfam Trailwalkers in different countries and also in a number of Ultra Marathons around Asia. My bucket list includes hikes to Everest, Kilimanjaro, Machu Pichu and Tour de Mont Blanc, among others and I hope to complete all these in the next 5 years so I can move on to the next hiking challenge. Look forward to seeing you on the trails.
When I moved to Hong Kong 4 years ago from St Petersburg FL, I found some similarities to my hometown in the US, a temperate climate and white sandy (ok, maybe a few more rocks in them) beaches. What I never expected to find was the immense beauty and diversity of hiking trails. Who would have guessed that Hong Kong really is 70% green space! There is also no doubt that Hiking is one of the main reasons I remain in Hong Kong! Having a chance to meet new people, help them improve, and explore new areas and places is why I joined Hong Kong Hikers and have since become a leader. With a public transport system second to none, it is difficult to find excuses not to get out and see this great treasure we have!
Rob Rigby has been actively hiking for over 10 years, first gaining experience in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria and followed more recently by taking on the challenge of Base Camp Everest, Nepal and then Mount Elbrus, Russia. Other notable achievements have been walking 160km with Sir Ian Botham on one of his fundraising walks: ‘Beefy’s Big Sri Lanka Walk’ and an ultra-tough challenge of completing the UK ‘3 Peaks Challenge’ in a 24 hour time period.Alongside Hiking, his other passions are Fishing, Cricket and Mountain Biking. Rob has been living in Hong Kong since June 2015 and is amazed at the quality of hikes available here. It has allowed him to continue his passion whilst living in the middle of a vibrant city. He is very excited to be involved with Hong Kong Hikers so that he can share the experience of hiking Hong Kong with others.
(Details to follow)
I moved to HK in 2013 and having worked and played outdoors for most of my life, it is only natural that I would take to hiking here, given the abundant opportunities. There always being another new area and trail to explore keeps me going. I am always interested in the flora and fauna and may be found lingering when not being pushed to meet a timeline. A refreshing swim as part of a hike is always a bonus during the heat of the summer, as are a pint and a feed with friends.
I've been living in Hong Kong since the late '80s and never tire of it. I love the warm climate, the sincerity of the people, and how easily one can go from dense city to remote countryside. For me, hiking is about enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of nature, so while I like long and difficult hikes, I am in no rush. Hiking in groups is the best of everything: people, nature, exercise.
I was born in the NE of thailand, very hot, hiking is not so popular and none of my family or friends would ever think of hiking for fun. When I moved to Hong Kong in 2003 a new world opened up for me. Suddenly I was being dragged into the hills by friends and bit by bit I came to love it (and get fitter). Every weekend would be an adventure, sometimes two adventures. I lived on Lamma for a while and my friends and I quickly explored every trail, including getting lost on Mount Stenhouse in the dark and having to scamble down steep rocky slopes getting scratched by the lantana. A few beers and it all seemed funny looking back. I moved to DB and the exploration of Lantau began, I have walked every trail, some of them dozens of times, sometimes on a mountain bike. I moved to Mui Wo six years ago and the mountains are my garden. My time in the week is flexible so I can hike when I want. I love to race sometimes, sometimes just volounteer as crew. I love to take poeple into hills where my local knowledge makes it easier to have fun. If nobody is available I always have my wonder doggy Sidney for company, she knows the trails as well as me.
I formed the Hong Kong Hikers Group in March 2012, having previously organised and led over 200 hikes for one of the other large hiking groups here, and I handed over the reins to SteveP in December 2015. Originally from the UK, Hong Kong has been my home since 1999 and since becoming more or less retired in 2009 hiking has been what gets me up in the morning! An ongoing struggle to maintain an appropriate balance between hiking and beer means that I'm not the fastest up big climbs, but relatively long legs help on the flat. In July 2012 I completed the UK version of the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker (with Dave M & Lori) in atrocious conditions under foot in 22 hours 21 minutes, and I do like doing long (40km+) hikes occasionally. But having said that, I still also enjoy leading the more relaxed "social hikes" to avoid getting too obsessed with speed and timings.
(temporarily on maternity leave!)
Originally from New Zealand, I moved to Hong Kong late 2010. I have always enjoyed hiking and camping. Prior to moving here I had no idea that there were so many hiking trails and green spaces. I joined Paul's weekday hikes as a way to meet new people and make friends as well as a way of getting some exercise. I took up road running in 2008 and completed both a quarter and a half-marathon, but find I prefer the trails. I have recently become interested in trail running and racing, entering the Lantau 15 earlier this year and the upcoming Lantau Two Peaks, I find having an event to train for motivates me to get moving. I particularly enjoy the Monday Morning Wake-Up as it is very short and fast(ish) so gets your workout out of the way and you can enjoy the rest of your day. On the longer hikes I am a leisure hiker, taking in the scenery and wildlife.
While I was born and raised on the east coast of the US, I've been in Hong Kong since June 2014 and have loved every minute of it. Before moving here, I had no idea there was so much more to Hong Kong than just 'city". With just a quick MTR ride, I can be out exploring and roaming around the countryside seeing everything this city has to offer! Where I used to get my blood pumping by a little down hill skiing, now I get it moving by a little up hill climbing. Of all the areas I lived, Hong Kong by far has the best trails to hike, so come out and join me for some Hong Kong exploration!
Originally from the U.K., I moved to Hong Kong with my partner Margaret in 2008. Relatively new to hiking, and to be honest not the most avid of hikers, I was both shocked and surprised to experience the diversity and beauty of Hong Kong's many and varied landscapes. After the noise and bustle of the city, the calm and silence of a hike gave me the opportunity to truly appreciate the beauty of what we have just a short walk away from our homes. Hiking not only provides me with a healthy form of exercise, but also the opportunity to meet more and more people of all abilities and backgrounds, making me appreciate that no matter who we are, we are all able to share the experience equally.
I've uploaded a soft copy of the souvenir photo album that we gave to John at his surprise farewell party. It's a 33MB PDF file.