Black Hill is a 304-metre hill that separates Tiu Keng Leng and Lam Tin in the southeastern New Territories. And from what I learned, the hill served a purpose during the time Kai Tak Airport was operational.
Situated on Section 3 of the Wilson Trail, Black Hill is often combined with Devil’s Peak and Mau Wu Shan. However, we chose to hike to Black Hill from Tiu Keng Leng, and end at Lam Tin. And our guide will focus on this route.
Black Hill Hike map & details
Like some of the hills in Hong Kong, Black Hill can also be identified from a distance. The two former aviation reflectors (that look like empty billboards) that occupy the summit of Black Hill can be spotted from afar.
Black Hill is the highest point along the ridge that separates Tiu Keng Leng and Lam Tin. Our route starts from Tiu Keng Leng, takes a short detour to Black Hill, and then heads down to Lam Tin.
It should be fairly obvious looking at the elevation profile above that the uphill climb from Tiu Keng Leng is longer and more challenging than that from Lam Tin. Also, the path isn’t very obvious as there are many intersecting trails all over Black Hill. So, to prevent getting lost or taking the wrong path, please follow the directions below very carefully.
To start the Black Hill Hike, make your way to Tiu Keng Leng MTR station. Take Exit A1 towards the bus terminus and then exit onto King Ling Road.
Turn left onto King Ling Road and walk to the intersection. At the intersection, turn left onto Choi Ming Street.
Walk to the end of Choi Ming Street, where there is a roundabout. Find the pedestrian crossing and cross to the other side of Chui Ling Road. Turn right and walk past the roundabout till you reach two parallel flights of steps that are behind Saint Andrew’s Catholic Primary School.
The steps are the starting point for the Black Hill Hike.
Between the two parallel flights of steps, take the one on the right. There should be a sign for the Wilson Trail next to the flight of steps on the right.
This section of the hike consists of 513 steps, and yes, the steps are numbered. In fact, I don’t recall the steps being numbered on any hike. I honestly think it’s a great idea because it lets you know how many steps you have still to go.
The steps at the start are relatively easy. They’re on a gentle incline and easy to climb. Alongside the steps is the base of Tiu Keng Leng Fresh Water Service Reservoir. Although you cannot see the reservoir, the steps essentially go around it.
After the second shaded bench, the steps begin to climb alongside the reservoir wall and they become steeper and more challenging. But as I said, you know exactly where the steps end because they’re numbered.
When you finally reach the perpendicular path at the end of step 513, congratulate yourself! That was a hard workout and you deserve a break!
The short catchwater path
At the end of the steps, turn right onto the path that runs along the catchwater basin.
Just around the bend, you should notice a small koi pond. We saw plenty of fish and turtles in the pond.
This short (approximately 100 meters) path connects the steps, that you just climbed, with the next steps up the hill. So, continue walking on the path after the koi pond till you see steps on the cemented side of the hill.
A short steep climb up
The following section is the toughest section of the hike. But fortunately, it’s only a short 280 metres (approximately) section. I guess it may have seemed infinitely longer to us because we hiked up Black Hill in the summer heat.
As you turn onto the steps on the side of the hill, simply follow the trail as it ascends.
The trail is a mixture of steep and gentle steps. As you climb higher, the views of Tiu Keng Leng begin to open up.
At the end of the steps, the trail becomes flat and passes through a couple of shrubs and thickets.
And just beyond the shrubs is a small clearing with another path running almost perpendicular to the path you’re on. At this point, turn right.
To Wilson Trail
As you turn onto this path, you should be able to see the two aviation reflectors (more on them later) upon Black Hill.
The flat path soon gives way to more steps. But fortunately, the steps aren’t too steep or difficult. They’re on a gentle incline.
Once again, the end of the steps meets a perpendicular path. Turn right and continue walking on this flat trail.
Approximately 175 metres ahead, this flat trail merges with Wilson Trail and a few other trails. This pass is easily recognizable with the Wilson Trail sign.
Wilson Trail runs perpendicular to the trail that you just arrived on. And the trails in the opposite direction head down to Lam Tin.
But before we head down to Lam Tin on the other side of the ridge, we first need to hike up to Black Hill.
To the Former Aviation Reflectors on Black Hill
Black Hill is easily recognizable from a distance thanks to its former aviation reflectors (as labelled on Google Maps). These large structures that resemble billboards are situated next to the summit of Black Hill.
To reach the aviation reflectors, turn right onto Wilson Trail and walk up the steps.
At the end of the steps is a short, flat section, which is followed by more steps.
After the second flight of steps, you’ll arrive at a pavilion. You can choose to walk through the pavilion stand or walk around it.
Just beyond the pavilion is the path to Lam Tin Park. Make a note of it because we will return here after reaching Black Hill.
And just beyond the turn to Lam Tin Park are the two former aviation reflectors.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much information about these reflectors. But I did stumble across a detailed and interesting blog that potentially explains their position and purpose. The short answer is that they served a purpose when Kai Tak Airport, which is roughly 1 nautical mile from Black Hill, was operational. Much like Checkboard Hill, which too played a pivotal role in the old airport’s functioning.
The area around the reflectors offers some awesome views. But even better views are up ahead.
Black Hill viewpoint
Continue walking on Wilson Trail beyond the second aviation reflector till the path splits into two.
Take the right fork and walk up the steps till you emerge at an opening. From here you can appreciate the views of Tiu Keng Leng, Tsuen Kwan O, Junk Bay, and even High Junk Peak!
If you head down to the fork on the left, you can also get views of Kowloon Bay and the old Kai Tak runway.
Head down to Lam Tin Park
After you’re done appreciating the views, head back to the turn to the sign for Lam Tin Park next to the first aviation reflector.
From here on out, the path is relatively straightforward. Just continue walking down the steps till the end, and then the path flattens.
Now pay close attention to the instructions as there are many crisscrossing paths after the steps.
A short distance after the trail becomes flat, it connects with a paved path. Turn left and there should be a short flight of steps, with a mini temple at the end.
After the steps, turn left and walk another few metres till you see a sign for Lam Tin Park and another flight of steps on the right.
Walk down and at the end of the steps, turn left to continue towards Lam Tin Park.
Exit onto Pik Wan Road
Lam Tin Park is a relatively large public park located next to the residential areas.
To exit the park, simply follow the exit signs to come out at Pik Wan Road.
From here, you can catch a bus or taxi to your destination. Or walk to the Lam Tin MTR station, which is another 1 km.
Black Hill Hike Guide
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the Black Hill Hike. If you’d like to combine it with Devil’s Peak, please follow our guide to the Devil’s Peak Hike and then continue on Wilson Trail to Black Hill and finally end at Mau Wu Shan.
Or you can follow our guide and hike from Tiu Keng Leng to Lam Tin via Black Hill. If you want to reduce the difficulty level of this hike, simply reverse our instructions and start from Lam Tin Park.
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