Lower Shing Mun Reservoir might be the less popular counterpart to the larger and more serene Shing Mun Reservoir, but it definitely offers a couple of exciting hiking options and the opportunity to explore the Shing Mun Gorge.
Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Hike
As far as hiking goes, there are two options
- Hike around Lower Shing Mun Reservoir (complete the loop), or
- Hike from Lower Shing Mun Reservoir to Shing Mun Reservoir
In this post, we’ll focus on the hike from Lower Shing Mun Reservoir to Shing Mun Reservoir.
Although the hike is relatively easy, it’s also adventurous in some parts. In a nutshell, the hike can be thought of in two unequal parts – the paved trail around the reservoir to the gorge, followed by the slightly adventurous trail from the gorge to the main Shing Mun Reservoir dam.
So, with that out of the way, let’s get started.
The starting point for the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Hike is Lower Shing Mun Road in Tai Wai. The easiest way to arrive here is to take the MTR to Tai Wai Station, on the East Rail Line, and then take the green minibus 64K just outside Exit E on Chik Wan Street. Ride the minibus till Po Fook Memorial Hall on Lower Shing Mun Road.
Alternatively, you can walk to the starting point from the Tai Wai MTR Station. It should take between 15-20 minutes to reach Po Fook Memorial Hall on foot. Simply exit the MTR station on Chik Wan Street, turn left and walk till you reach a roundabout. From there, continue straight onto Lower Shing Mun Road.
Once you arrive at the starting point, get ready to walk to the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam.
To the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam
The next section of the hike is an easy walk on a winding road that is shared with cars.
From the Po Fook Memorial Hall bus stop, continue walking on Lower Shing Mun Road towards the entrance for Fu Shan Crematorium. Stay on the road as it turns right before the entrance and continues downhill.
A couple of hundred metres down the road you should be able to see the dam wall on the right. If you’re hiking here on the weekend, don’t be alarmed by any strange sounds coming from above.
The main dam of the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir is an extremely popular spot for flying aeromodelling planes, RC helicopters, and drones. On a separate note, if the noises are coming from the trees, it could be the macaques!
Continue walking on Lower Shing Mun Road as it begins its incline from the basin. You could also take a shortcut through the woods, right next to the first hairpin bend.
Whichever route you take, you should arrive at the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam. At this point, the road splits into two and wraps itself around the reservoir.
The track along the reservoir
When you reach Lower Shing Mun Reservoir, turn right onto the road on top of the main dam. This is the area where enthusiasts meet to fly their RC planes, helicopters, and drones. We saw plenty of them enjoying their Sunday afternoon.
From here, you should also be able to see Tai Wai across the basin, and the reservoir at the back.
To continue hiking, walk to the end of the dam wall, turn left, and walk past the barrier gate. From this point on, it is a 2.5 km track that runs along the north side of Lower Shing Mun Reservoir.
The initial section of the track is shaded and at a gentle incline. Unfortunately, there aren’t many views of the reservoir at this point.
As the track climbs higher, it loses some of its shade. But at the same time, you finally get to see glimpses of the reservoir below and Lion Rock in the distance. And if you’re lucky, you might even get to see some waterfalls along the track.
Continue walking along this scenic track that takes you towards Shing Mun Gorge and the other end of Lower Shing Mun Reservoir.
As you get closer to the gorge, you should hear the sounds of cars and buses. I honestly thought there were cars headed in our direction. Obviously, I was wrong because the sounds were coming from the viaducts that connect the Shing Mun Tunnels, over the Shing Mun Gorge.
Just before the track descends into the gorge, there is a sign advising hikers to not take the dangerous path on the right to the Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam. Given that the dam is right in front, this may sound like a tempting option.
However, we also advise that you walk down the track, into the gorge, and take the longer route to the Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam.
Shing Mun Gorge
The track descends into the gorge quite steeply. So, watch your step as you walk down.
When you reach the bottom of the gorge, you’ll notice that the paved track gives way to a dirt track. At this point, go straight under the viaducts and turn right onto a narrow footbridge to cross to the other side of the gorge.
At the end of the bridge, take the steps going up to the left. And at the end of the steps, you have a decision to make.
There are two diverging paths at the end of the steps.
The trail on the left continues along the other side of the reservoir. If you turn left, you’ll complete the loop around Lower Shing Mun Reservoir. The entire loop is approximately 5 km. So, if you’re keen to finish where you started, turn left and complete the loop.
However, the trail on the right heads towards Shing Mun Reservoir, via Wilson Trail Section 6.
We decided to turn right and finish our hike at Shing Mun Reservoir.
The catchwater trail
The first observation we made when we turned right was how different this section of the hike was compared to what we had just covered.
Unfortunately, the path connecting Shing Mun Gorge to Shing Mun Reservoir isn’t a maintained hiking trail. It’s a narrow trail that runs along the catchwater basin.
The first challenge we noticed with this was within the first 50 metres. Depending on the season you hike, there might be a water stream up ahead. Be very careful when crossing the stream as it can be slippery.
Once on the other side, continue walking alongside the catchwater. At this point, you should be above the viaducts, on the other side of the gorge.
Again, depending on if it has rained, there might be a couple of streams and waterfalls ahead. But just keep walking down the trail till you see a flight of steps.
The steps to Shing Mun Reservoir Main Dam
The final section of this adventurous trail involves climbing up three flights of steps. The first flight is the longest and is immediately followed by a second, shorter flight.
On top of the second flight is Wilson Trail Section 6. Turn left to reach Kowloon Reservoir, and turn right to reach Shing Mun Reservoir. So, turn right.
In fact, the moment you turn right and climb the last flight of steps, you’ll enter the barbeque area and picnic at Shing Mun Reservoir.
Walk through the outdoor seating area till you reach the impressive dam wall of Shing Mun Reservoir!
Finish at Wo Yi Hop Road, Lei Muk Shue
If you’ve ever taken a walk around Shing Mun Reservoir, you know how calm and peaceful it can be around here. But if this is your first visit, it might be worthwhile to take some time to explore around. Or better yet, return another time to complete the loop around the reservoir.
But to finish the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Hike, turn left onto Shing Mun Reservoir Road, and walk away from the main dam wall.
Walk past the car parks and the entrance for the MacLehose Trail Section 6. In fact, we highly recommend returning here to visit the famous Shing Mun War Relics Trail!
Just around the entrance for MacLehose Trail Section 6 (Shing Mun War Relics Trail) is a flight of steps on the left. It may get hidden if there are cars parked in front of it.
Take the steps down as it’s a shortcut.
When the steps reconnect with the main road, return to the road and continue walking downhill. You might see plenty of macaques here. Just ignore them; they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.
After about 150 metres, turn right and continue walking downhill till you reach the fence for the Ha Lo Wai Salt Water Pumping Station.
Walk along the fence and take the steps down to Wo Yi Hop Road.
And in case you were wondering, Kwai Hing is the closest MTR stop from here.
Hike from Lower Shing Mun Reservoir to Shing Mun Reservoir
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the Lower Shing Mun Reservoir Hike. As mentioned earlier, you can choose to either take a loop around Lower Shing Mun Reservoir or hike from Lower Shing Mun Reservoir to Shing Mun Reservoir.
But if you want something more leisurely and peaceful, we recommend a walk around Shing Mun Reservoir.
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