Ma On Shan Country Trail
With rich deposits of magnetite and haematite in the granite of Ma On Shan, mining activities were recorded between 1906 and 1976 and ores can still be found with a magnet today. Back then miners and their families settled around the mine and formed a village, now known as Ma On Shan Village. After being shut down for a very long time, the school and the church in the village have been revitalised and turned into Grace Youth Camp, showcasing the mining history a century ago and allowing public visitors to explore the history of Ma On Shan. The first part of the country trail, although characterised by a series of stone steps that wind up the slopes, is totally worth the trek, as it leads to the grassy plain of Ngong Ping, with a lookout on the hillside overlooking islands stretching from Sai Kung Town to Port Shelter, and High Island Reservoir in Sai Kung East Country Park in the distance. The magnificent sunrise here has attracted many people to Ngong Ping Campsite, where paragliders jump off and fly freely in the valley at weekends. In autumn, hikers may also hike Pyramid Hill, which extends as far south as a stone-built ancient trail through the golden grassland. Along the way, there is a plantation of Taiwan Acacia, which can survive the toughest conditions – it can not only survive on barren land, but also tolerate fire and resprout after fire, making it an ideal firebreak to prevent the spread of hill fire.