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Hiking Into the Wilds of Hong Kong

In a season of political upheaval and pandemic, residents of one of the world’s most crowded cities have sought escape in the city's vast "country parks.” 

People walk on the trail from Harlech Road to High West in Hong Kong on Sept. 26.

People walk on the trail from Harlech Road to High West in Hong Kong on Sept. 26.

Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg News

Even by the dismal standards of 2020, Hong Kong has had a rough year. Eight months of pro-democracy protests gave way to the global pandemic in January, followed by China’s imposition of a sweeping national security law, a crackdown on activists, and the year-long delay of a crucial election. It’s enough to make one run for the hills.

Which is literally what I have done: After spending my days reporting on the city’s political turmoil, I’ve jogged up and away from Hong Kong Island’s wall of skyscrapers and into the jungle along a vast network of trails.