If you are new to hiking, regaining your fitness or want to get outside but cannot be bothered to ascend one of Hong Kong’s many stunning but steep peaks, fear not. There are plenty of rewarding hikes in Hong Kong that do not include the notorious stair climbs. But be warned: while the hikes might be easier than heading up big mountains, all things are relative. They can still be a challenge, so bring the right footwear, food, water and a charged mobile phone to call for help. Check the weather forecast and if you are going alone, let someone know where you are heading. HKU expert questions continued need for wearing mask while hiking 1. MacLehose Section Two – 13km (with options to do half) Section two of the famous MacLehose Trail takes you to world-class beaches. There are ups and downs, so be prepared for some short climbs, but it is a good flatter option compared with other famous peaks. There are three options, depending on your fitness level and inclination. Firstly, you can do the whole section from East Dam of High Island, near Sai Kung. The 13km trail takes you through Long Ke, Sai Wan and Ham Tin and back towards Pak Tam Au. If you want to see the beaches and have a great hike, you can stop at the beaches and take a boat back to Sai Kung . But they are not always running, as they depend heavily on the right sea conditions. They cost around HK$150. You can do the section backwards, starting at Pak Tam Au and stopping at the beaches. You will still get to experience the amazing views, but it is a slightly less challenging half of the section than starting from East Dam. 2. Plover Cove Country Trail – 18km This is truly an incredibly beautiful trail, with views of Pat Sin Leng, Double Haven and across to Man On Shan. It will spare you the steep climbs, but it is undulating, and there is no option to get off the trail until the end, so treat this hike with respect. Starting on Bride’s Pool Road, this trail winds around Plover Cove reservoir. The small hills rise high enough to take in the immense area around you, with shimmering water and mountains towering over you. Finish with a walk along the dam, then end at Tai Mei Tuk, where there are a range of restaurants to celebrate your day outside. 3. Mui Wo to Pui O – 7km This simple hike is a lovely walk for all levels of fitness, and still gives you great views and a fantastic finish point. Take the ferry to Mui Wo, and turn left along the coast. Follow it around until you see some stairs going into the trees. This trail takes you along the coast to an open beach area. Turn right, across the open grass until you meet the concrete road. Follow the concrete road and you will soon reach Pui O, where you can enjoy the beach and also grab a socially distanced beer or some food at the restaurant on the shore or in the village. 4. Violet Hill to Stanley, via the Twins water catchment – 5km The Twins strike fear into any hiker. They are home to a steep 1,000 steps: unrelenting, leg-burning misery. If you want to go on a hike, or if your friends are doing The Twins and you want to join them but skip the 1,000 steps of doom, you can turn right and go along a catchwater that ends up at the same place, with none of the misery. A hike starting from near Park View begins with a climb up Violet Hill. As you are already high at the start, the climb is not so bad. You can then descend down towards the start of The Twins with views of Tai Tam. Just after the little bridge, where the steps begin, turn right and the route is self-explanatory from there. Head down the steps at the end, to a bus stop that will take you to Stanley for a well-earned meal and drink.