Going on a hike is the perfect way to challenge yourself to a day (or a few days) of adventure. When you step out into the wilderness, there are plenty of unexpected challenges and terrains to encounter. It is also the perfect way to reconnect with nature and vanquish the hum-drum of your daily grind in the city. For families, especially with little kids, it is the best way to experience that once-in-a-lifetime adventure and is a great way to change things up when it comes to your weekend activities. If you are traveling to or living in Malaysia, good news for you as there is a long list of hiking trails to choose from that are fit for beginners and kids alike.
Are you ready for your kids to experience a weekend that’s a bit more active than just spending it on a couch at home? These are the best hiking trails in Malaysia that you need to add to your bucket list or to your weekend plans!
These are some of the perfect hiking trails in Malaysia for your family.
1. Cameron Highlands
Malaysia’s Cameron highland is famous for various reasons. The Cameron Highland is located 1,000 meters above sea level. It has cool climate, as well as lush environment that you can enjoy with your family. Cameron Highland is the best option for adventure seekers and fitness buffs. It was stated in Culture Trip that Cameron Highland has 14 hiking trails. These trails vary from easy to hard.
Aside from getting your kids to stay active by joining you on a trekking adventure, it is also a great way to spend quality time with the family while being close to nature. You will be in awe by the gorgeous panoramic views of the hills and the surrounding peaks. But apart from the usual lush rainforest that you’ll get to see from other hiking trails in Malaysia, this particular hiking destination is unique because you will pass through picturesque tea plantations. Aside from the difficulty of the terrain, a lot of the hiking trails in the area are underdeveloped so they are difficult to maintain and a challenge to navigate, especially in poor weather conditions.
For an easy hike at the Cameron Highlands, choose Parit Falls. The hidden waterfall is the highlight of this family-friendly hike and you will also pass a small community and a recreational nature park. Your little ones are going to love spending time here, so make sure to allot several hours or the entire day for this trek!
There are many hiking trails in the Cameron Highlands. Make sure you bring a trail map or hire a hiking guide to help you navigate the best trails for your kids.
2. Bukit Gasing Park
Bukit Gasing Park is located in the suburbs of Petaling Jaya. It has several hiking trails that suit all levels of energy and fitness. Bukit Gasing Park is popular among residents and tourists alike. The hiking trails are steep, but you will find a lot of marking points left by other hikers that will guide you. The trails lead to a suspension bridge, a Hindu temple and watch tower. The top of the hill is about 160m and it will take one hour and 45 minutes to reach.
Hiking with your young kids is a great way to get them connected to the outdoors. For this purpose, Bukit Gasing Forest Park is the best choice. This is a perfect place for city souls to be in the mid of the nature. A river also runs through the forest, so you can trek using it as your path. There are benches along the trails, which provide a spot to rest and recover. It is a safe place to visit because it is a community forest. The park has plenty of amenities that are ideal if you want to freshen up or relax.
3. Broga Hill
Broga Hill, known as Bukit Lalang, is located 400 meters above sea level. It is a favorite hiking trail in Malaysia for fitness buffs. It is also sought after for the scenic views of the foliage in Semenyih. As natural explorers, your kids would be easily drawn to this hiking trail. In particular, your kids will be in awe by what natural features they can discover along the way.
There are three peaks to explore in Broga Hil and they are all equally beautiful. Go to the second peak to hike if you want to catch the sunrise. Make sure you wake up early to start your hike and it will be worth the extra effort! When taking your kids to this trail, make sure you plan ahead. If it has been raining for a few days, the terrain can be extra slippery. You will make it past the oil palm estate and forest on your way to reach the summit of this trail. The entire trail can be completed in 45 minutes.
For older kids with a bit of hiking experience, go for the third hill. This trail comes with huge rocks that you must navigate through, so be extra careful and make sure you are fully geared for this hike. Wear appropriate hiking shoes and always be cautious about the changes in the terrain. This is a popular hiking trail for families and kids in Malaysia. If possible, avoid hiking during weekends or public holidays (if you want to avoid the crowd).
The Rainbow Falls
4. Rainbow Falls
The Rainbow Falls is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Malaysia. The waterfall is located in Sungai Lembing. It is a great spot for anyone who enjoys natural beauty of the forest and waterfalls. The Rainbow Waterfall was named as such because during a specific time of day (between 9AM to 10 AM), the sun would hit the base of the waterfalls and form a rainbow.
This trail will take about 45 minutes to complete, so it is not as challenging and should be easy enough for the kids to take on. It is also a favorite hiking trail for those who want to see the sunrise. One of the biggest challenges during this hike is that you will cross a metal bridge to get to the other side of a river. It is a short and easy hike with just the right amount of challenge. It is also well-marked so you will never get lost.
The rainbow at the waterfalls is definitely a sight that your kids will enjoy. And it is for this same reason why it is a recommended hike for families, even when there are some challenging parts in the hiking trail. You can also find a lot of tourist facilities such as toilet, which is yet another reason why it would be suited for families.
5. Penang Hill
The Penang Hill hiking trail is an area known for its unspoiled beauty. This is recommended for families who want to embark on a hiking escapade away from the city. If your kids are the type who enjoys a good adventure, this is the best spot to go to.
You can choose from two hiking routes when you visit Penang Hill. One is along the same road used by the locals and other one embarks from the Penang Botanic Gardens. You will be able to reach Penang Hill within 2-3 hours, depending on your pace. It earned its reputation as a moderately challenging trail because there are some portions of steep terrain. You will also have a few wildlife encounters along the way, which is always exciting for kids.
As Penang Hill is the oldest British Hill Station in Southeast Asia, there are a lot of architectural landmarks up on the hill that you can explore while hiking the trails. And you can explore beautiful flora and fauna while on your way. Towards the end of your nature walk, you will encounter a Monkey Cup Sanctuary with a Kopi Hautan. Kopi stands for coffee, and you can enjoy with your family in the outdoor café amidst a serene rainforest that provides you relaxation from the bustling city life.
The best time to hike Penang Hill is anywhere from December to February.
6. Panorama Hill
Another hiking trail for the entire family to add to your list if you are seeking out dreamy sunrise views is Panorama Hill. This hiking trail wasn’t just named as such to attract tourists. The trail is truthful to its name because that is exactly what you expect to find when you embark on this trail. This hiking spot is within 45 minutes only from the Kuantan town. You have to see the sunrise views here to believe – imagine sunlight breaking the sky while the sea of misty clouds engulfs the entire hill. Words simply cannot do it justice.
Another thing that makes Panorama Hill ideal for kids and family hiking is that the most difficult parts of the terrain come with stairs with railing as support. At the same time, there is an abundance of resting huts that you can go to if you want to take a break in between. This is an easy trail that will take about an hour in order for you to reach the peak.
If you want to catch the iconic sunrise view, be sure to start the hike at 5:30 AM. This is a free trail and will start at Sungai Lembing.
7. Mount Serapi
Still haven’t found the ideal hiking trail for your kids or the entire family? Mount Serapi is a mild and easy walking trail that has enough features to excite even experienced hikers. This mountain is visible from the city of Kuching. The hiking trail that leads to the summit of Mount Serapi is only about 30 minutes to an hour. This is a 900-meter mountain with several paved paths and jogging trails that are often frequented by locals.
This trail is filled with paved paths so you won’t have to worry about steep terrains for your kids. But if you do like a bit of a challenge, you can always divert from the main path towards the Waterfall Trail. You will be navigating a swampy area until you reach a stunning waterfall. You know you are there when you see a picturesque waterfall.
Malaysia is teeming with natural and cultural attractions to see and enjoy with the entire family, such that hiking is often last on people’s minds. But this tropical paradise and bustling metropolis is also a haven for hiking enthusiasts. It is home to magnificent natural landscapes with dense equatorial rainforests. If you want to start a family tradition of hiking (weekends or not), this is the best place to start as you’ll find plenty of family-friendly hiking trails. Once you set foot on these trails, you will have the chance to get close to nature. And it does not hurt to get moving as you challenge yourselves, and the kids, to a physical conquest. Everybody wins!