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Cove Reservoir Country Trail, with a length of 15.5 kilometers, encompasses Plover Cove Reservoir, the second largest reservoir in Hong Kong in terms of storage capacity.

The trail has not been developed into country trail until recent years. Apart from installing the distance posts, the management authority resurfaced some steep and eroded trail sections.

The lengthy trail has a number of ups and downs and is considered the toughest country trail in the territory.

Route
Tai Mei TukPak Sha TauCheung Pai TunNgor Kai TengKwun Yam TungLuk Wu TungTai TungWang Leng AuMa Tau FungWu Kau Tang
船灣淡水湖Plover Cove Reservoir
Subsiding clouds
Sai Kung on the other side
Cheung Pai Tun
Pak Kung Tsui
Tolo Channel
Dirt trail
Muddy water flowing into the reservoir after rain
The headland on the right is To Tau Tsui
Set off at Youth Hostel (YHA) in Tai Mei Tuk. Take the road by the Hostel and cross the main dam of the reservoir. After passing the gate, follow the road and cross the spillway. Take the staircase ahead. Descend the slope and then climb up to Cheung Pai Tun. Follow the main path to Ngor Kai Teng and take the uphill trail to Luk Wu Tung.
Keep on the trail and proceed to Tai Tung. Keep left at both crossings near Tai Tung and continue on to Ma Tau Fung. From there, descend to the finishing point and finally head right to Wu Kau Tang.
There is a side path leading to Lo Fu Wat
Lo Fu Wat, an abandoned pearl culture farm
Scorching hot
Cheung Pai Tun
A small headland
Keep going
Lush green
An exposed trail
Transportation
Starting Point Route Duration Fare & Operating Hour
Minibus No. 20C Tai Po Market Railway Station - Tai Mei Tuk
(Get Off : Tai Mei Tuk)
20 min Details
Bus No. 75K Tai Po Market Railway Station - Tai Mei Tuk
(Get Off : Tai Mei Tuk)
30 min Details
End Point Route Duration Fare & Operating Hour
Minibus No. 20R Wu Kau Tang - Tai Po Market Railway Station
(Get On : Wu Kau Tang)
30 min Details
Section
Route Tai Mei Tuk Pak Sha Tau Cheung Pai Tun
Time   30 min   2 hr  
  Ngor Kai Teng Kwun Yam Tung
  2 hr   2 hr 15 min
  Luk Wu Tung Tai Tung Wang Leng Au
      1 hr 30 min
  Ma Tau Fung Wu Kau Tang  
      45 min    
Duration 9 hours
Distance 18 km
Difficulty
Scenery
Supply None
Exit
  • Take the side path at Tai Tung, which leads to Wu Kau Tang via Ha Miu Tin
  • Take the side path at Wang Leng Au, which leads to Wu Kau Tang
Note
  • This is a country trail of which the difficulty is often underestimated. Be well-prepared for a lengthy and exposed trail.
  • Some trail sections are steep and slippery
SummaryThe lengthy trail has some hard ups and downs and it is recommended for experienced hikers. As it runs around the reservoir, the views slightly changes along the way.
EpilogueIt was my first time visiting Plover Cove Reservoir after the country trail had been officially opened. Noting the long distance of the trip, I was (I thought I was) well-prepared and equipped: 5 liters of drink for two, food and fruits, map and compass, hiking pole, sun screen, umbrella and headlamp. Hey, let’s go !

The sun was burning hot, especially when we were walking along the dam. While resting at Cheung Pai Tun, we met a middle-aged man who passed us swiftly. We felt a bit embarrassed as we were much younger yet we couldn’t keep up with him. The walk was getting tougher and it was hard finding a shelter on the path. I couldn’t help wondering if we had enough water for the journey.

Reaching Luk Wu Tung, we came across the man again. He looked pale and was using his cell phone. I approached to see whether he was fine. He said he got loss and I advised him to follow us. Descending a flight of steps, the tired man staggered as if he was going to fell. We urged him to rest and gave him some water (he was already run out of it).

It was going be another 2-hour walk to the finishing point, I thought. The water left were not sufficient for three of us. He was reluctant to call for help at first but we were finally able to convince him. Having informed the police our situation, I told them the grid references shown on the signpost nearby. It was getting darker and we waited. Meanwhile, the police officers, firemen and the officers from Government Flying Service (GFS) called us over and over again and I repeated the grid references.

"Sok ! Sook ! Soook!" The helicopter was approaching and I waved my flashing headlamp, feeling kind of relieved. The chopper descended steadily and compressed the air, making us hard to breathe.

I had imagined that the aircrew was as tall and robust as Mr Matt, a well-known character of a local television series then, who was a crew member of the GFS. But no, he wasn’t, not even close.

Having saved the man, the aircrew left us on the trail with little water. The surrounding became silent again and the sky went completely dark.

We continued our journey, with frogs croaking along. Once we saw a weak glimmering light some distance ahead, wondering if it came from the flashlight of the firemen looking for us. Nope, it wasn’t. That’s weird.

Instead of taking the short-cut to Ha Miu Tin, we continued on the country trail and proceeded to Ma Tau Fung, which turned out to be a terrible mistake. The trail ahead was unexpectedly lengthy and tough. At 10 p.m., we arrived at Wu Kau Tang, feeling thirsty, hungry and exhausted. What a “Country trail”!

On our way back to town, the taxi driver asked what had happened to us. “Ah…it’s a long story”, I sighed.

Revision Hiking : 6 May 2006
Revised : 12 Nov 2013
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