Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail, Hong Kong, China
13th of December 2015
To date, the best hike I have undertaken in Hong Kong. The views are just amazing.
- Location: Plover Country Park, Hong Kong, China
- Start or End: Probably best to start the walk at the Bride's Pool entry on Bride's Pool Road via the Sunday only 275R bus from Tai Po Market Station. Buses can then be accessed at Tai Mei Tuk, the terminus of the walk.
- Length: 18.9km (11.7mi)
- Grade: Hard. I was exhausted at the end of this walk. A lot of going up and down hills and rather lengthy.
I awake again in Hong Kong with another metrotrek in mind. But this will be no ordinary hike, today is going to be a little different. Today I venture to the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail, probably the most out-of-the-way walk I have taken so far in Hong Kong. I would love to have taken this walk earlier during my trip but the trail head can only be easily accessed via public transport on a Sunday. I got the idea of walking the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail via the Hike Hong Kong blog, which is a brilliant inspiration and well worth a visit.
From my hotel in Wan Chai I take the bus to Hum Hong Train Station and then take the train to Tai Po Market Station. From Tai Po Market Station I take the 275R bus to Brides Pool and the trail head of the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail. The 275R bus is a special Sunday and public holiday bus which provides transport for hikers of the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail and the Pat Sin Leng/Wilson Trails. The green minibus 20R can also take you to the start of the trail at Brides Pool any day of the week but the route is un-timetabled and the times between services can range from 1 to 2 hours. Not that convenient, so I choose to wait until Sunday when the 275R bus runs every 10 to 15 minutes.
N.B. At the time of writing Google Maps seems to think you can access the Brides Pool entrance of the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail via the green minibus 20C. I don’t think this is right. From searching the AMS website it seems that the 20C only goes as far as Tai Mei Tuk, the other end of the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail.
The problem with a Sunday only bus is that it only runs on Sunday. Therefore, Sunday seems to be a popular day to take this walk. Fortunately, I reach the 275R bus stop at 8:00am (half an hour before the first bus) and take 5th position in the line. By the time 8:30am rolled around the bus was full to the brim. This may not be the most solitary walk.
I arrive at Brides Pool at about 9:00am, which is generally a lot later than I usually start my walks. The walk along the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail is 19kms long and takes about 7 hours, which means I won't reach my destination of Tai Mei Tuk until 4:00 pm. You really wouldn't want to start this walk much later than 9:00am in the winter as you will end up in the dark.
Better hop to it then if I want to reach home before dark. I also better start moving if I want to make some distance between myself and the large group of other hikers on the bus and the coming buses. Hearing other hikers talk loudly over music blaring from their portable sound systems really gives me the shits, so I truly do leg it.
Unfortunately, in my rush to get away I missed Brides Pool waterfall (I saw a stream though, as above) and went down the wrong path and had to turn back. I did however manage to escape the bus load of hikers by the time I reached the trailhead.
It wasn't long before I got my first view of the Plover Cove Reservoir and the surrounding Country Parks.
And from then it just kept getting better. There isn't really that much I can say about the walk apart from that it was brilliant and probably the best walk I have taken in Hong Kong so far. It was a long walk, but not that hilly and the ascents where more than manageable. At first I didn't see anyone, but soon enough a number of trail running groups caught up and passed by. But most of the time I had the views to myself, and my word were the views spectacular. I think the only way to describe the walk is via some of the numerous photographs I took along the way.
Probably my favourite section of the walk is the south-east stretch where there are views to the waters of the Plover Cover Reservoir on one side and views to the Tolo Channel on the other.
Another fun section of the Plover Cover Reservoir Country Trail is along the dam walls. Sure you are no longer towering above the water with panoramic views but the outlook is still enjoyable.
The dam walls are much more populated compared to the hills and the longest and final dam wall, which takes you to the destination of Tai Mei Tuk, is a hive of activity. Walking, bike riding, fishing, kite flying and sailing are all very popular along the dam wall and at Tai Mei Tuk.
The terminus of the walk at Tai Mei Tuk provides plenty of facilities and public transport options. You could walk the trail in the opposite direction, but I think the Brides Pool to Tai Mei Tuk direction is probably the best way to go in terms of public transport connections.
I definitely recommend the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail. The public transport options are a little limited but one you reach Brides Pool everything is perfect. The trail is in great condition, clear and well sign posted. Mobile phone coverage was good for the vast majority of the walk and most important of all the coverage of panoramic views was amazing. It is a pity the day was so hazy and the sun only popped its head out occasionally, but the walk was still worth it. Would love to walk the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail again on a clear day.
As a final piece of information, I finished the walk in 7 hours flat but I did spend a lot of time to stop and take in the views and photograph. Definitely take your time with this walk and enjoy the views.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.
Have you taken this walk? Any suggestions or errors? Please comment below.