PAT SIN LENG HIKE: AN EPIC RIDGE TRAIL
The Pat Sin Leng Ridge Trail is one of the most epic hikes in Hong Kong. The trail climbs hundreds of stairs before you traverse the safe but scenic ridge-line throughout the rest of the route. The hike often feels like Hawaii but is less than an hour away from Hong Kong city-center.
PAT SIN LENG RIDGE HIKE DETAILS
Hike Distance: The hike distance was 10.2km from start to finish and was a point-to-point hike rather than an out and back or loop trail.
Hike Duration: Total moving time was just under three hours but total expedition time was about five hours including viewpoint breaks and photo stops.
Hike Difficulty: The hike was relatively safe with no major exposure/drop-offs on the trail for the most part. It was very steep in parts of course but it was more a consistent climb up rocky steps. The major component of difficulty was the 856m of incline. At the final viewpoint, there is a safe way down or a shorter way down. If you take the shortcut it is quite unsafe with danger/road-closure signs. It’s not necessary but was a fun adventure to go this way.
Hike Incline: The total hike incline was 856-meters
HOW TO GET TO THE PAT SIN LENG HIKE
To reach the starting point of the Pat Sin Leng hike you will need to:
- Take the train to the Fanling MTR Station
- Catch the mini-bus 52B
- Get off at Hok Tau Wai Pavilion
- Walk to the Hok Tau Campsite and begin the hike along the trail
The hike will finish at Plover Cove Country Park. Here you can catch the 72K to Tai Po MTR Station.
Below I have attached my GPX Map so you can see the exact route I took on the hike. If you would like to download the GPX map to your smart-watch or device you can Click Here to download.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE PAT SIN LENG RIDGE HIKE
After navigating our way to the Hok Tau Campsite, we set off on the Pat Sin Leng Ridge hike. The trail began by leading you along a paved road to the Hok Tau Reservoir, which was quite a scenic spot to take it all in before the hike really began. You will continue to follow the paved road until you reach the Hok Tau Family Walk archway. At this point, follow the Hok Tau Family Walk for a few hundred meters before diverting off onto the Wilson’s Trail. There’s lots of signs pointing to Pat Sin Leng Ride so it is all very straightforward once you pass through the arch pictured below.
After the main section of stairs, the trail turns to a flatter section of a white, dusty rock trail that contrasts perfectly against the dense green shrubs on either side. This is the section that links the stairs to the ridge and had great views of the mountain ranges to the left. I think this was almost my favorite part of the trail.
After about an hour, we reached the Pat Sin Leng Ride, which dramatically bends around the corner so you can see the entire undulating ridge-line as it arcs around the valley below. Although you are walking along the ridge, there was never a moment where we had to walk dangerously close to the edge or had drop-offs. The main path is far back from the edge despite some smaller paths leading you nearer to the cliff-edge for a better view.
The trail now undulates up several hills and viewpoints along the ridge until you reach the highest of them all along the Pat Sin Leng ridge, which is marked with the standard trigonometric marker pylon. The views by this point were cloudy for us, which is common but on a clear day expect magnificent views along the ridge. We enjoyed playing amongst the fog here that seemed to be climbing up the mountain and flowing into us.
After the main viewpoint, it would seem that most of the journey is downhill. However, the undulation of the ridge means there is still a lot of climbing left to do despite your overall net descent beginning. Each time we made it to the top of a set of stairs and reached the summit of a small hill, a new set of stairs would appear before us. This was a challenging part of the trail.
When we reached the end-point of the Pat Sin Leng Ride there was a great view out over Plover Cove and the Sai Kung region in the distance. The trail suggests going down the main trail which loops the long way around down to Tai Po. However, there is an old trail (locals were still using it) that says ‘Road Closed’. It was half the distance but much more difficult.
We decided to give the difficult way a shot. Despite our rock climbing photos below, it wasn’t too bad with just a few sections of bouldering required. The gravel was slippery and tough to navigate but the path was clearly marked and there was no need for ropes or equipment. Only go this way if you feel comfortable. It probably doesn’t save much time because despite it being half the distance it is thick scrub so it is slow going.