Lung Fu Shan
Lung Fu Shan Country Park was designated in 1998. It is the smallest country park in Hong Kong covering 47 hectares. Situated north of High West and south of Kotewall Road, its borders lie on Hatton Road in the east and Harlech Road in the south, while the west and north boundaries are marked by drains laid by the Water Supplies Department.
War ruins are major highlights of the park. Pinewood Battery and remains of old forts provide perfect setting for a journey back in time. The Pinewood Picnic Site nearby has a rain shelter and barbecue stoves. Pinewood Battery was built in 1903 as part of the Island West coastal defense line. This military relic is preserved within the protected realm of the country park, with an interpretation plate to introduce its history.
Sitting on a knoll in Lung Fu Shan Country Park, Pinewood Battery is the remains of an old military fort built in 1903. Pinewood is the highest defense facility of its kind, commanding a high vantage point at 307 metres above sea level. The original gun emplacement, commanding platform and shelters are preserved in tact to this day.
This battery in Lung Fu Shan is a defense position in Northwest Hong Kong Island. Just like Lei Yue Mun, it was designed to protect vessels passing through the western doorway of Victoria Harbour. During the war years, the British forces deployed a large artillery unit and heavy guns in this sea-facing battery to guard the Island.
In the 1920's, not long after its completion, Pinewood Battery was converted into an air defense battery. During the Japanese invasion, it came under repeated air raids. On December 15, 1941, Japanese bombers launched an attack on the battery, causing 1 death and 1 injury. One of the antiaircraft guns and certain other facilities were destroyed. Commander of the defending troops decided to abandon the battery, and all men were ordered to retreat on that day. At that note, Pinewood's historical mission ended gloriously.
Lung Fu Shan Country Park provides a wide range of leisure facilities, including picnic sites, barbecue area, notice boards, toilets, fitness equipments, pedestrian walkways, rain shelters and lookout.
Lung Fu Shan is not only a favorite destination for morning walkers, it is also a place to show the integration of natural ecology and human heritage. Tourists are attracted by its beautiful scenery and the chance to learn more Hong Kong’s recent history. The Pinewood Battery Heritage Trail is set in Lung Fu Shan Country Park. The trail is about 0.4km long and starts at the entrance of the Picnic Area Site No.1 on Hatton Road. Along the trail, you will see the relics of the Pinewood Battery. Interpretation panels on site also introduce the history of the Battery.
As part of a biodiversity programme, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has carried out ongoing afforestation work with native trees in Lung Fu Shan over decades. Native trees found in Lung Fu Shan include Hong Kong Gordonia (Polyspora axillaris), Chekiang Machilus (Machilus chekiangensis) , Ivy Tree (Schefflera heptaphylla), etc.
Lung Fu Shan's lush woodlands are where more than 115 bird species roost and feed. All you need is a pair of binoculars and some patience, and you will easily discover these feathered friends. Some of them can be heard, while others can be seen perched on the trees. Common species are Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus), Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii), Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), Chinese Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis), Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum), Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris), Indian Cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus), Chinese Hwamei (Garrulax canorus), Tristram's Bunting (Emberiza tristrami), Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis), White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata), Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) and Black-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax chinensis). Occasionally, you find quills of the East Asian Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) on the ground, and Pallas's Squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus) chasing around in the bush.
There are two picnic sites within the park. One of them has a lookout built directly on top of an old pillbox dating back to the Japanese War. There is an interpretation panel that presents major sights of the region. On clear days, you can spot the remains of Pinewood Battery inside Lung Fu Shan Country Park.
Past the Picnic Area Site No.2 at the end of Harlech Road, the trail descends to the middle section via some steps. There is a fine view of Queen Mary Hospital and Cyberport, set against Lamma Island with beryl water in the distance. At the bottom of the steps, on your left is the Hong Kong Trail, while the entrance to Cheung Po Tsai Traditional Path, an ancient hill walk, lies on the right. It is a popular hiking route to follow Stage 1 of the Hong Kong Trail and then onto Lung Fu Shan Country Park via Cheung Po Tsai Traditional Path. The traditional path is about 3.5 km in length, and takes only 1 hour to complete.
Skirting along the uplands, the Cheung Po Tsai Traditional Path is blessed with clean, unpolluted air that is beneficial to plant growth. Pathside vegetation features great diversity, and provides habitats for many birds and insects. Half way down the path, there are ruins of ancient temples near Sai Lam Buddhist Hall (old site), and traces of makeshift facilities constructed by morning walkers which were once common in Lung Fu Shan. A flight of steps take you down to a level hill trail. A little further, another flight of steps lead up to a large finger-shaped marker-post, indicating the end of the rain shelter no 1 section of Cheung Po Tsai Traditional Path.