Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ20: Repair and maintenance of country trails and hiking trails

     Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council today (January 7):


     In June last year, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conversation Department (AFCD) diverted or permanently closed the Keung Shan Country Trail, Nei Lak Shan Country Trail, Shek Pik Country Trail and Section 4 of the Lantau Trail, which had been damaged by landslides.  Regarding the repair and maintenance of country trails and hiking trails, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will repair the above trails expeditiously; if it will, of the details; if not, whether it has plans to construct alternative hiking trails; if it has, of the details of the plans; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether, upon confirming that the above trails cannot be repaired, the Lands Department will update the rural maps published by its Survey and Mapping Office expeditiously besides publication of notices by AFCD, so as to avoid endangering hikers who enter those trails mistakenly; if it will, of the details; and

(c) apart from the above permanently closed trails, which country trails, hiking trails and other trails in various country parks under AFCD are permanently closed at present because of landslides or other reasons; whether it has evaluated the possibility of repairing such trails; if it has, of the evaluation results; if not, the reasons for that?



     My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:

(a) As the rainstorms in June 2008 caused serious landslides, some hiking trails in the Lautau country parks were affected. After repairs by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), most of the affected trails have been reopened. However, some trails within the Lautau country parks, namely Nei Lak Shan Country Trail, Shek Pik Country Trail, Keung Shan Country Trail and stage 4 of Lantau Trail, were severely damaged. The AFCD found after detailed studies that large areas of certain sections of the above four trails had been affected by landslides, while some sections are very steep and covered with loose mud and big rocks, and are thus very insecure. The AFCD considers that these sections cannot be repaired and some trails have to be closed in whole permanently while some sections have to be diverted.

     Trails which have to be closed in whole permanently include Nei Lak Shan Country Trail and Shek Pik Country Trail. The hillsides near these two trails are very steep and there are no suitable routes for diversion. Hence, they have to be closed permanently.

     Trails which have to be diverted include Keung Shan Country Trail and stage 4 of Lantau Trail. After diversion, stage 4 of Lantau Trail links with stage 5 by passing through Nei Lak Shan, Ngong Ping Village and Ngong Ping Road (Map 1). As regards Keung Shan Country Trail, the section between its original starting point at Kwun Yam Shan and Keung Shan was seriously damaged. After diversion, Keung Shan Country Trail begins at Tai O Road and connects with its existing section not affected by landslides by passing through the Keung Shan catch-water, Lung Tsai Ng Yuen and Man Cheung Po (Map 2). The above diversion arrangements came into effect in November 2008.

(b) After the abovementioned trails had been damaged by landslides, the AFCD erected barrier blocks and warning signs at the entrances of the trails to prevent hikers from passing through. The AFCD had also put updated maps of the trails concerned on all notice boards in the Lantau country parks to inform the public of the closure and diversion arrangement. The information had also been uploaded to the AFCD website. Hikers heading for Lantau Island can refer to the location of the hiking trails concerned and the diversion at .

     Besides, the AFCD had informed the Survey and Mapping Office (SMO) of the Lands Department of the closure and diversion arrangement of the trails. Apart from updating the information of the trails on the Countryside Map which will be issued in late 2009, the SMO had also provided a hyperlink to the above AFCD website at its webpage for easy reference by members of the public.

(c) In the past years, the only trail closed permanently by the AFCD due to landslides or other reasons is the one linking Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls main fall and the Straggling-hair Falls in the Tai Mo Shan Country Park. This trail was damaged by a landslide in 1993. The AFCD has studied the feasibility of reconstructing the trail after the landslide. However, the area concerned is too steep and covered with a large amount of gravel, and it has become insecure after the landslide. Besides, under the perpetual erosion of water and gravel, loose pieces of rocks would fall down and the condition is very difficult to improve. Thus the AFCD considers that the trail cannot be recovered. In addition, the topography of the area is steep and narrow. Thus, after evaluation, the AFCD considered that there was insufficient space for constructing a safe hiking trail. Since 1993, signs of "no through road ahead" has been erected at the two ends of the trail, and hikers has been advised not to proceed further. For years, the said section has not been shown on the Countryside Maps issued by the SMO of the Lands Department.

Ends/Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:01


Print this page