Hike Needle Hill but Mind the Monkeys and Goats!
We know it sounds weird, but when you hike Needle Hill in the New Territories, along a particular section of the trail (we’ll tell you about it below in the “Our Route” section) it’s not uncommon to see Rhesus Macaque playing around in the trees. On the descent down into Tai Wai, depending on the time of day, it’s also not uncommon to see some Billy Goats (from a nearby farm) grazing on the jungle underbrush. We know this sounds weird, but indeed when you hike Needle Hill (and if you follow our route) you’ll have a good chance of seeing monkeys and goats!
Urban Jungle to Literal Jungle and Back Again
Something you may also find interesting about this hike is how quickly Hong Kong’s urban jungle transitions into the literal one. This hike starts at the Sha Tin MTR station, and it ends at the Tai Wai MTR station, but you won’t be taking the train to get from point A to B. Instead, you’ll hike up and behind the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery to the MacLehose Trail Section 7, and from there, you’ll walk along the MacLehose trail in order to head up Needle Hill. After you’ve finished taking in the spectacular 360 degree views from the summit, at which point you’ll be able to see Hong Kong’s tallest mountain Tai Mo Shan, as well many of the other Hong Hong hiking classics such as Ma On Shan, Lion’s Rock and the Shing Mun reservoir, you’ll head down to Tai Wai.
Hike Needle Hill – Big Effort, Big Rewards
This hike is quite challenging, as it includes many stairs both on the ascent and descent, but the spectacular views at the top make it well worth the sweat you will pour to get up there. If you’re lucky enough to see the monkeys and Billy Goats, that’ll be and added bonus too! The short video below will give you just a bit of what awaits you at the summit! And the details below that will give you all the information you need to hike Needle Hill yourself!
If however you’d prefer not to try and navigate out on the trails all by yourself, we’d be glad to guide you, so you too can hike Needle Hill. Just give a click below, and we’ll get planning with you!
What You’ll Need to Bring
When you hike Needle Hill, the main thing you’ll need is water, especially if you do this in the summer months. A couple of snacks wouldn’t hurt either. The rest of the items we suggest are below.
Especially on some of the loose slippery gravel, it is important to have good footwear. We love these shoes*. However, the most important thing in a shoe is proper fit, so use these as a starting point, but keep in mind there is no “one-type-fits-all” shoe out there.
We love these water bottles because they are insulated and reusable. Reduce your plastic waste by using these!
Hiking poles save our knees on the downhills, and on the really long hikes, they are even nice on the ups! If you hike Needle Hill and you’d like a bit of extra support, we recommend these hiking poles.
It never hurts to have a rain jacket. On the off chance that the weather turns, these will keep you dry and a bit warmer.
If you hike Needle Hill on a sunny day, you will want to protect yourself from the sun.
Camera and Lens
We love this camera and lens. This whole setup is weatherproof too, so we don’t have to worry about it in the rain!
Drones are fun, they can give you a unique perspective on wherever you’re at, and this is the one we use and LOVE!
Getting There and Getting Home
This hike starts right from the Sha Tin MTR station Exit B (the same exit you’d take to get to the Ikea in Sha Tin), and it ends at the Tai Wai MTR station Exit A. Suffice it to say, when you hike Needle Hill, take the MTR to get to the trailhead and back home afterwards.
Difficulty and Distance
This is an intermediate/advanced hike due to the distance and elevation gain. Also, when you hike Needle Hill you’ll notice that going up Needle Hill itself, and also going down into Tai Wai, there are some stretches of the trail with loose rocks, gravel and places that are a bit “technical” in terms of footing. Make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes, like the ones we recommend above.
Distance, Elevation Gain, Duration
This hike is 8.34 km (5.18 mi) long, and it has 592 m (1942 ft) of elevation gain. For intermediate hikers, plan on this taking 3-4 hours. Advanced hikers, plan on this taking 2-3 hours.
Our Route to Hike Needle Hill
We suggest you use our hike Needle Hill Google Map and our picture guide (below) to navigate while you’re out on the trail. From your mobile device, just click the link above, and you’ll see our route in your Google Maps App.
But again, if you’d prefer to leave the navigating to us, we’d be glad to guide you on a hike up Needle Hill. Just click below, and we’ll get planning with you!
Hike Needle Hill Picture Directions
Getting onto the Trail
Onto the MacLehose Trail
Mind the Goats
Well, there ya have it! Now you should have all the information, and hopefully all the inspiration you need to hike Needle Hill. If you’d like to do another adventure up in the New Territories, you should seriously consider checking out the refreshing waterfalls at Ng Tung Chai, and if that doesn’t suit you, how about the Dragon’s Back of the New Territories, Tai To Yan? Looking for something a bit more mellow? How about a gentle walking tour through Tai Po – The Venice of Hong Kong! Last but certainly not least, you should consider the stunning ridge walk at Pat Sin Leng. No matter what you do, if you have any questions, comments or compliments 😉 just leave them in the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you in a flash!
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How long it took for you to hike this?
Good question! For a slow hiker, four hours, for an intermediate hiker 3 1/2 hours, for a fast hiker 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Hi, can this hike route can take us to Grassy Hill? Thanks so much for your quick response!
Indeed it can. Once you hit the MacLehose Trail, you’ll turn right to Grassy Hill instead of left towards Needle Hill. Hope this helps!
Hi thanks a lot for info. Hope we hike the needle hill soon thank u very much
You’re welcome! Let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your clear directions.
To return, we continued on the trail and reached Shing Mun Valley Reservoir, from where we got a minibus to Tsuen Wan.
No problem! Glad you found the directions clear.