Hiking trails are the key pathway for people to come in touch with nature in Hong Kong, while many locals and tourists enjoy nature outings for leisure with the city’s accessible trails, not many pay attention to the maintenance efforts and care needed for the trails at their feet. With the increased popularity of outdoor events and sport competitions, in recent years, the erosion impacts from the surge in usage have caught up with some of the nature trails and also brought about waste problems.
Many countries with national parks have been practicing nature conservation and public education to strengthen the public's awareness of trail protection, whereas in Hong Kong, there has been little related research, discussion and educational programme in the past. In 2015, non-governmental organizations and groups organized by public raised out the waste problems seen on the nature trails, which eventually led to a collaboration with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to launch the “Take Your Litter Home” campaign. Since the launch, improvements are seen gradually with the effort of the on-going campaign. It is also worth noting that, in 2016, a group of public established a concern group to focus on the impact of concretization of the nature trails, in hope to balance the integration of the trails development with the natural environment.
Launched in August 2018 by local charitable organization The Green Earth, the “ECF Make Our Nature Trails Sustainable – Leave No Trace Education Programme” is an initiative funded by the Environment and Conservation Fund, with the aim to promote the concept of sustainable trail management through a series of public educational activities based on the fundamental principle of “Leave No Trace” (LNT). Seminars about trails conservation, guided tours, trail cleanup actions and trail maintenance volunteer scheme are held and organized to strengthen the public’s appreciation towards the natural beauty of trails and conservation efforts.
Hong Kong is rich in resources of the countryside and a diverse natural landscape. You can access amazing sceneries though the trails from the village views to mountain ranges.
Since 1979, Hong Kong has successively established many different types, lengths and difficulty of trails, the trails regularly maintained by the AFCD are over 500 km in length, including:
There are also ancient trails, non-maintained trails, morning walks built by other government bodies and rural trails, etc.