The Shing Mun Reservoir in the Shing Mun Country Park is one of the reservoirs in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Other than serving its primary function as a reservoir, the area offers visitors a scenic walk/hike.
Getting to Shing Mun Reservoir
Getting to Shing Mun Reservoir is quite easy – you either start from Tsuen Wan or Kwai Fong.
From Tsuen Wan
At Tsuen Wan MTR Station Exit A, take bus 51 (towards Kam Sheung Road), and get off at Country Park Station. Walk up to Tai Mo Shan Road and continue for 20 minutes to the Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Centre.
To get back, take minibus 82 to the Tsuen Wan town centre from the Pineapple Dam minibus terminus.
From Kwai Fong
When you get to Kwai Fong MTR Station, take any bus towards Lei Muk Shue Estate. Get off at this stop, cross the road at the stop light, and climb up a narrow stairway. Follow the path till you get to the Shing Mun Reservoir BBQ Area. From there, walk along the path that gets you to the main dam.
I personally preferred using Kwai Fong as my starting point as I thought it was more convenient.
About Shing Mun Reservoir
The Shing Mun Reservoir was built as part of the Shing Mun Water Supply Scheme to meet the increasing demand for fresh water due for Kowloon. Construction began in 1933 and finished in 1937. The dam is 85 metres in height, and had a capacity of 13.6 billion litres.
The dam was once popularly known as the Jubilee Reservoir to celebrate the Silver Jubilee (1935) of King George V. However, I don’t think anyone refers to it by this name anymore.
Shing Mun Reservoir Walk
The Shing Mun Reservoir Walk is an undulated, paved road that wraps itself around the Upper Shing Mun Reservoir. Other than a couple of inclines, the 6 km walk is fairly easy for all age groups. The walk also offers plenty of shade (thanks to the trees), and numerous secluded picnic tables for a quick break (or a picnic).
I found the walk really relaxing, and destressing. It’s one of the things that I love about Hong Kong – the ability to get away from the city, and get close to nature within a short span of time. Walking around Shing Mun Reservoir reminded me of that time and again.
Apart from the Shing Mun Reservoir Walk, there are 3 other trails around the Shing Mun Reservoir:
- Maclehose Trail Stage 7,
- Wilson Trail Stage 7, and
- Pineapple Dam Nature Trail
During the 4 hours we spent at the reservoir, we were able to explore both the Wilson Trail, and the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail.
Shing Mun Reservoir Hiking Map
This is probably the best map of the hikes around Shing Mun Reservoir.
Wilson Trail Stage 7
Stage 7 of the Wilson Trail wraps itself around the eastern periphery of the Upper Shing Mun Reservoir. The path runs along the edge of the reservoir, with beautiful scenes all the way around.
Pineapple Dam Nature Trail
The trail for the Pineapple Dam starts at the minibus terminus. The dam is so named because there were once many pineapple fields in this area.
The Pineapple Dam Nature Trail is on the western side of the reservoir. The trail is about 1 km long, and features some scenic spots along the shore of the dam. Keep walking along the shores of the dam, and the scenery just gets better.
My favourite spot was along the northern tip of the reservoir. The broad trail along banks of the Shing Mun Reservoir led us to the Chinese Banyans with their exposed roots.
Here hikers can experience two extremes of nature: in the rainy season, when the water level is high, the trees are immersed in the water. In the dry season, hikers can walk closer and see the roots of the trees exposed in the air.
We loved spending our winter afternoon/evening at Shing Mun Reservoir. It’s close but not too far from the city. The walk is not too short, but not too long. It’s easy, and relaxing with a few steep inclines. And it offers ample spots to appreciate natural beauty, including a butterfly garden.