Discover the breathtaking beauty of Ma On Shan Country Park, a vast 2,880-hectare haven nestled in the Eastern New Territories of Hong Kong. Established in 1979, this expansive park boasts a diverse landscape, including the renowned Ma On Shan mountain range, providing a green oasis for leisure and recreation activities. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the park’s history, major attractions, hiking trails, ecological highlights, and facilities, offering you a comprehensive guide to this extraordinary destination.
Founded on April 27, 1979, Ma On Shan Country Park has been a key component of the region’s conservation efforts. In 1998, the park underwent a slight reduction in size near Nai Chung to facilitate the widening of Sai Sha Road. Despite this adjustment, the park continues to thrive as a vital recreational area, connecting Sai Kung Country Park and Lion Rock Country Park.
Sightseeing and Landmarks
Ma On Shan Country Park is graced with prominent landmarks such as Ma On Shan, the Hunch Backs, Pyramid Hill, Tate’s Cairn, and Kowloon Peak. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views from Kowloon Peak, explore the unique Ngong Ping Plateau, and discover the intriguing Grave of Dr. Sun’s Mother in Pak Fa Lam.
The park is home to a variety of mountains, each with its charm, including Buffalo Hill, Cheung Shan, Luk Chau Shan, and the iconic Ma On Shan. These peaks offer both challenging and scenic hiking opportunities, with trails like Ma On Shan Country Trail, Wilson Trail, and MacLehose Trail leading adventurers through the park’s diverse terrain.
Iron Mine of Ma On Shan
Ma On Shan has a rich history of iron mining, with the Ma On Shan Iron Mine operating until its closure in 1981. While the mine is no longer active, remnants of this industrial past can still be explored within the park.
Vegetation and Wildlife
Despite the challenging volcanic slopes, pockets of vegetation, including wild rhododendrons, orchids, and unique ferns, have thrived in Ma On Shan Country Park. The secluded environment has also nurtured a range of wildlife, with sightings of pangolin, barking deer, porcupine, and wild boar not uncommon.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Ma On Shan Country Park offers a selection of hiking trails, including the Ma On Shan Country Trail, Wilson Trail, and MacLehose Trail. These trails vary in difficulty, providing options for both seasoned hikers and those seeking a more relaxed trek.
The main attraction, Ma On Shan, stands tall at 702 meters, offering panoramic views of the New Territories. The park’s unique position serves as a dividing line between Sai Kung Peninsula and Shatin, providing hikers with diverse routes for exploration.
Ma On Shan Country Park caters to visitors with barbecue areas at Shui Long Wo, Kei Ling Ha, Nai Chung, and Ma On Shan Village. Campers can choose from campsites in Ngong Ping and Shui Long Wo. The park also features well-maintained hiking trails, including the Kei Ling Ha Tree Walk and stages of the Wilson and MacLehose Trails.
The park’s sparse vegetation hides rare flora species like wild rhododendrons, orchids, and ferns. The undisturbed natural environment shelters various wildlife, including the Chinese Pangolin, Chinese Porcupine, Wild Boar, and Common Muntjac.
Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of the Ma On Shan Country Trail as it winds through the Ngong Ping Plateau, offering sweeping views of the Sai Kung Peninsula. Pyramid Hill, Ma On Shan, and Tiu Shau Ngam provide stunning backdrops, creating a visual feast for nature lovers.
Ma On Shan Country Park stands as a testament to Hong Kong’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, this park offers a myriad of experiences that showcase the beauty and biodiversity of the region. Plan your visit to Ma On Shan Country Park and embark on a journey of discovery in the heart of Hong Kong’s Eastern New Territories.