Six Easy, Beautiful Reservoir Hikes in Hong Kong


Reservoir hikes in Hong Kong are easy, offer stunning views and possess unique flora and fauna. These six hikes are great for hikers of all levels, especially given each hike's stellar views.

None of the following reservoir trails are technical or difficult, meaning you don't need special equipment or training to complete them.

The best part is that each reservoir hike offers vistas that will definitely make you wonder if you're still in Hong Kong!

1. Tai Tam Reservoir

Tai Tam is one of the most relaxing reservoir hikes in Hong Kong and definitely the easiest of this list. It's also one of the most historic, with old masonry bridges that date back over a century!

While there is a more challenging hiking route that you can take to get to Tai Tam Reservoir (大潭水塘) from Quarry Bay, there's also a direct bus that drops you off directly there.

Much of the reservoir area is relatively flat with no major uphill sections. You can easily spend half a day wandering through the various reservoirs and dams in the area, or just take a few hours to drink in the major sights.

Informational signs outline the incredible history of each dam and its significance to Hong Kong when the city was just beginning to grow into what it is today. This hike is a perfect blend of nature, scenic views and historical clout that would be ideal for families with young kids!

What better way to get little ones interested in nature and history than by combining the two on an epic day out?

Quick Hike Details:

  • District: Hong Kong Island
  • Duration: 3 hours (from Quarry Bay Station), 1 hour if you go to Tai Tam Reservoir directly
  • Distance: 11km (with a few detours from Quarry Bay) 2-4km (if you go directly there by bus)
  • Highest Elevation: 370ish meters
  • Difficulty: 2.5/5 (from Quarry Bay Station), 1/5 (if you take the bus directly to the reservoir)
  • Facilities: There are a few public toilets on the way up (from Quarry Bay), but nowhere to buy water

For directions, maps, detailed instructions and more, check out the full Tai Tam Reservoir hike guide below.

2. Kowloon Reservoir

The Kowloon Reservoir (九龍水塘) Hike is an enticing adventure that offers a family-friendly trail with captivating wildlife in the heart of Hong Kong.

Nestled in Kam Shan Country Park (at the base of what locals call 'Monkey Hill', this hike provides an ideal opportunity to spot macaques (even rare golden ones), making it the easiest place in Hong Kong to observe these fascinating creatures - adding an element of excitement and wonder to your hiking experience.

The reservoir itself is a sight to behold, particularly on a clear day. With its stunning backdrop of lush greenery, the Kowloon Reservoir offers a serene and picturesque setting.

Kowloon Reservoir's easy difficulty level makes it accessible to beginners and families, even counting optional detours that allow you to explore other reservoirs in the area, such as Kowloon Byewash Reservoir, Kowloon Reception Reservoir, and Shek Lei Pui Reservoir.

With convenient access via public transportation and facilities such as toilets and vending machines available at the Shek Lei Pui Reservoir bus stop, the Kowloon Reservoir Hike offers a well-rounded and enjoyable outdoor adventure suitable for individuals of all ages.

Quick Hike Details:

  • District: Between Kowloon and the New Territories
  • Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours
  • Distance: 3 km (up to 4.5km if you decide to go off the beaten path)
  • Highest Elevation: 210ish meters
  • Difficulty: 1/5
  • Facilities: Toilets and vending machines at the Shek Lei Pui Reservoir bus stop (from Kowloon)

For directions, maps, detailed instructions and more, check out the full Tai Tam Reservoir hike guide below.

3. Lower Shing Mun Reservoir

Nestled in the serene surroundings of Tai Wai, Lower Shing Mun Reservoir (下城門水塘) is a hidden gem that provides an easy escape from the bustling city life.

As you embark on the trail, you'll be greeted by lush greenery and stunning views of majestic mountains, including Needle Hill and Lion Rock. Wildlife enthusiasts, too, will be delighted by the chance to spot wild monkeys frolicking among the trees or socializing by the roadside.

The hike is suitable for hikers of varying fitness levels, making it an ideal choice for beginners, as well as intermediate and advanced hikers seeking a new trail to conquer. With a gradual and gentle incline along a concrete road, the hike is not overly challenging or technical. This makes it accessible for families and individuals looking for an enjoyable outdoor activity.

Another highlight of this hike is the climb to the top of the Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam. While steep, this ascent provides an epic experience and rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It's a moment to savor and capture stunning photographs.

Additionally, the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir hike offers interesting features such as secret viewpoints, intriguing bridges and much more!

Quick Details:

  • District: New Territories
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Distance: 6.7 km
  • Highest Elevation: 230ish meters
  • Difficulty: 1.5/5
  • Facilities: Toilets and food kiosk at the end point (kiosk open from 8/9am - 4/5 pm daily, cash only)

For directions, maps, detailed instructions and more, check out the full Tai Tam Reservoir hike guide below.

4. Upper Shing Mun Reservoir

Upper Shing Mun Reservoir (城門水塘) offers a captivating hiking experience that is perfect for those seeking a refreshing escape from the summer heat. This scenic loop hike is full of shaded trails, stunning views, secret groves and serene picnic spots. The hike is really easy, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels, including families with young children.

Upper Shing Mun Reservoir is famous for its lush flora. As you traverse the trail, you'll be surrounded by beautiful shades of green, vibrant bursts of flowery color and towering trees. The hike also provides opportunities to encounter majestic wildlife -like macaques, cows and even wild boars - adding an element of excitement to your journey.

The trail follows the perimeter of the reservoir, ensuring a cool breeze accompanies you throughout the hike. Along the way, you'll come across little streams and pools where you can cool off in refreshing, clean water, providing a welcome respite from those brutal Hong Kong summer days.

Quick Details:

  • District: New Territories
  • Duration: 2.5 hours (with no breaks)
  • Distance: 9km
  • Highest Elevation: 250ish meters
  • Difficulty: 1.5/5
  • Facilities: Snack kiosk at the start and end (8/9am - 4/5 pm daily, cash only) and toilets throughout

For directions, maps, detailed instructions and more, check out the full Tai Tam Reservoir hike guide below.

5. Tai Lam Chung Reservoir

Tai Lam Chung Reservoir (大欖涌水塘) offers a scenic hike around Hong Kong's 'Thousand Island' Lake. As you traverse the natural trails, you'll be treated to gorgeous vistas of the reservoir's waters, surrounded by lush forests and picturesque mountains that stretch into China.

The walk beside the reservoir is particularly enchanting, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the area and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

There are two different routes to choose from when tackling this hike. The longer route is highly recommended as it allows you to spend more time walking alongside the reservoir and exploring the area's most natural and stunning trails. However, even the shorter route provides captivating views and an opportunity to witness the beauty of Tai Lam Chung.

The hike is pretty easy, making it accessible for hikers of various skill levels. The gentle ascents along the trail offer a manageable challenge while still providing rewarding panoramic views. Additionally, the facilities along the way, including toilets and a snack kiosk near the end of the hike, ensure a comfortable and convenient experience for visitors.

Oh, don't miss the gum trees near the end of the hike! They turn golden, orange, and red in autumn and are pretty stunning!

Quick Details:

  • District: New Territories
  • Duration: 3.5 hours (full route), 2.5 hours (short route)
  • Distance: 11.9 km (full route), 8.7km (shorter route)
  • Highest Elevation: roughly 200 meters
  • Difficulty: 1.5/5
  • Facilities: Toilets and a snack kiosk near the end of the hike

For directions, maps, detailed instructions and more, check out the full Tai Tam Reservoir hike guide below.

6. High Island Reservoir

High Island Reservoir (萬宜水庫) takes you on a journey around one side of Hong Kong's largest reservoir with incredible views consistently throughout the journey.

One of the main highlights of the High Island Reservoir hike is the breathtaking water of the reservoir itself. With shimmering shades of turquoise greens, azure blues and deeper tones of navy, the colors of the water are truly mesmerizing - especially on a clear day!

As you explore the reservoir, you'll also have the option to go on a few interesting detours that can take you right to the water's edge for an up-close and personal look. Don't be surprised if you see fish and even turtles in the water!

Animal enthusiasts will also be delighted to know that High Island Reservoir is home to herds of wild cows. These gentle creatures add a touch of charm and uniqueness to the experience, overall.

The hike culminates at the impressive East Dam, which separates the drinking water of the reservoir from the South China Sea. At this point, you'll witness the marked color difference between the ocean water and the reservoir's pristine drinking water, further emphasizing the natural beauty and importance of this reservoir.

The entire hike takes place on a concrete road with taxis and buses buzzing by constantly, in case you fancy an early exit.

Quick Details:

  • District: New Territories
  • Duration: 2-2.5 hours
  • Distance: 10km
  • Highest Elevation: 115 meters
  • Difficulty: 1/5
  • Facilities: Toilets along the way. Just make sure to bring food and drinks

For directions, maps, detailed instructions and more, check out the full Tai Tam Reservoir hike guide below.