Peel Rise is one of the many routes to hike to The Peak on Hong Kong Island. The hike from Aberdeen to The Peak via Peel Rise is relatively easy, fun, and scenic even if it’s on a constant incline.
Peel Rise is a paved trail on the south side of Hong Kong Island that connects Aberdeen Reservoir Road and Peak Road. It’s quite popular among walkers, joggers, and hikers as it also links with Hong Kong Trail Sections 2 and 3, Aberdeen Reservoir, and Wan Chai Gap.
The hike from Aberdeen to The Peak cuts through some of the most scenic parts of Aberdeen Country Park. And if you happen to hike on Peel Rise after the rains, you might have the opportunity to explore some beautiful streams and waterfalls!
Aberdeen to Peak Hike
The hike from Aberdeen to The Peak is about 4.5 km and should take less than 1.5 hours to complete. However, we took a detour (described below) to see a waterfall that added to the distance in the map above.
From start to finish, the trail is on a gentle incline, which means that it’s not too difficult but still a great exercise! It’s also worth noting that Peel Rise is shaded all the way. This means you could even attempt this hike in the summer months.
Although many choose to walk down from The Peak to Aberdeen, we chose to hike up. So, with that out of the way, let’s start the hike.
To get to Peel Rise, make your way to Aberdeen Reservoir Road. Peel Rise is connected to Aberdeen Reservoir Road between St. Peter’s Secondary School and Pui Tak Canossian College.
There are plenty of buses that stop next to Peel Rise, these are 7, 76, 95, 971, and minibuses 4B, 4C, 4M, 4S, 35M, and 52. Make sure to alight at Pak Sha Lau Yue Kwong Chuen on Aberdeen Reservoir Road.
Once you alight at the bus stop, simply look for the turn for Peel Rise. This is the start of the hike.
To the catchwater
As you walk onto Peel Rise, you’ll see the road split right at the start. Take the path on the right going uphill.
At this point, Peel Rise passes between St. Peter’s Secondary School on the right and Pui Tak Canossian College on the left. After the two buildings, there’s a short section that’s shaded and that opens up before the Aberdeen Chinese Permanent Cemetery. The cemetery is situated on the side of this hill, behind Aberdeen.
Continue on Peel Rise as it passes the cemetery and turns right and goes behind the cemetery. From here, Peel Rise is a straight path up to the catchwater basin.
You’ll know when you arrive at the catchwater because you’ll need to sidestep a barrier to continue on Peel Rise.
To Hong Kong Trail Section 3
The path along the catchwater is flat, but only for a very short distance.
If you hike up Peel Rise during or after the rains, as we did, the catchwater will be the first sign of the beautiful streams up ahead. In fact, we hiked while it was raining and just as we were walking next to the catchwater, we saw a beautiful waterfall across the ravine.
We instantly knew that we had to go see it, even if it was a short detour!
A quick detour to the waterfall (optional)
If you don’t see the waterfall across the ravine, feel free to skip this section.
To reach the waterfall, you need to take a 400-metre detour from Peel Rise onto Hong Kong Trail Section 2. To do that, simply continue walking along the catchwater and cross the bridge over the two streams.
Continue on Hong Kong Trail Section 2 till you reach the waterfall. After you’re done admiring it, simply trace your steps back to where Peel Rise begins its uphill ascent along with Hong Kong Trail Section 3.
To the outdoor seating area
The next section of Peel Rise is the most beautiful, especially if you’re hiking here during or after the rains.
When you see the sign for Hong Kong Trail, turn right. At this point, Peel Rise is the more obvious and paved trail going uphill. But there is a flight of steps at the start which goes up Section 3 of the Hong Kong Trail. Ignore that and follow the paved trail uphill.
Almost immediately, you should see a gorgeous stream to your left. I couldn’t gather much information about it but I believe this is the Jianghua Stream (please correct me if I’m wrong). It is one of the many streams that feed the catchwater, and eventually Aberdeen Reservoir.
Continue on Peel Rise as it turns left onto a bridge that crosses Jianghua Stream below. After the bridge, the trail turns right and continues uphill.
At this stage, there are two streams on either side of Peel Rise! If you’re hiking here when the streams are full, it really is a gorgeous sight!
It is possible to go off-road and explore or even swim in the streams. However, keep in mind that the area around the streams can become very slippery after the rains.
The two streams run parallel to Peel Rise as you continue walking uphill. The sound of the gushing water sure does make this section of the hike very zen!
After about 650 metres of walking uphill, Peel Rise once again meets Section 3 of the Hong Kong Trail. Right here is an outdoor seating area, opposite the trail, where you can take a break if needed.
To Peak Road
The next section of the hike to The Peak is quite straightforward. From the outdoor seating area, simply follow the sign to the Peak Road.
This 2 km section of Peel Rise is the final incline of the hike and is, fortunately, shaded all the way.
As the climb intensifies and reaches a higher altitude, the views also start opening up. From certain parts of the trail, you should be able to get glimpses of Aberdeen below, and even Ocean Park.
For me, the most defining part of this section of Peel Rise is the 4 hairpin bends. And if you’re keeping count, you should know that you’re close to the end of Peel Rise after the fourth bend.
So, after the fourth and final hairpin bend, you should start seeing houses on The Peak next to the trail.
After number 7 Peel Rise, the trail once again becomes a road and unfortunately, you have to share it with cars.
Stay on Peel Rise it merges with Gough Hill Path, at which point turn left onto Gough Hill Path. You will see Peak Road right ahead.
Finish at The Peak
As you turn onto Gough Hill Path, stay on the left side of the road as it gently ramps up. After the ramp, go straight and take the overhead bridge on top of Peak Road.
After the bridge turn left onto Peak Road and stick to the right. This is the slip road with the car parking. You shouldn’t encounter too many cars on the slip road.
Simply continue walking on the slip road till you reach Peak Galleria.
We ended our hike at Peak Galleria on The Peak, which isn’t the same as Victoria Peak. If you wish to continue hiking to Victoria Peak, the directions can be found in our Victoria Peak Hike guide. In fact, you can learn about the other hiking routes to The Peak.
If you enjoy exploring different routes to hike to The Peak, Peel Rise is a definite must! And my advice is to attempt this hike after the rains to appreciate the streams and waterfalls in Aberdeen Country Park.
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