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Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail: Hike around the Largest Reservoir in Hong Kong

Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail is an 18km circular trail that wraps around Plover Cove Reservoir, Hong Kong’s largest reservoir. The challenging hiking path crosses many mountain ranges and eventually leads you to the Plover Cove Reservoir main dam.

The Plover Cove hike is the longest trail I’ve ever hiked in Hong Kong and probably the most difficult because of the distance and terrain. So if you are an experienced hiker and up for a challenging hike, you should consider hiking Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail.

In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to hike the Plover Cove Country Park circular hiking trail and how you should prepare for this epic hiking trail.

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What you need to know before hiking the Plover Cove Hike in Hong Kong

Before you hike around Plover Cove Reservoir, take a look at my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of HK first.

Here are a few additional tips for hiking the circular path in Plover Cove Country Park in Hong Kong:

  • Only experienced and advanced hikers should attempt the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail. The trail is tough due to the length of the trail. It will require a lot of endurance.
  • The best time to hike the Plover Cove hiking trail is late autumn, winter and early spring. The trail is mostly exposed, so I would not recommend hiking during summer.
  • Bring at least 2L of water when you hike during the cooler months.
  • Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it to take the MTR and minibus to the start of Plover Cove trail and take the minibus from Tai Mei Tuk. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.

How to hike Plover Cove Country Park Circular Hike

The best way to hike Plover Cove Reservoir circular trail is to start in Wu Kau Tang, hike the entire circular path, continue onto Tai Mei Tuk Family Walk and finish the trail in Tai Mei Tuk, where you can take a public bus or minibus back to an MTR Station.

In terms of distance, the entire circular hiking trail is over 18km. But you will end up walking more because of the logistics and transportation to the start of the trail and when you go back home. I ended up walking over 25km that day!

  • Difficulty: difficult (distance, terrain, and endurance)
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Distance: 18km
  • What to bring: hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), at least 2L of water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation)

How to get to Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail

Take either minibus 20R or a cab (costs ~$120HKD) at Tai Po Market MTR Station Exit A3, to the start of Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail, located in Wu Kau Tang Village.

  • Minibus 20R: from Tai Po Market MTR Station ExitA3 to Wu Kau Tang (last stop)

Start hiking at the end of Wu Kau Tang Road

Take the minibus to the route’s last stop which is at the end of Wu Kau Tang Road.

There is a modern pagoda with a bench; walk through it and follow the trail at the back.

When you see the stairs and the map for Plover Cove Reservoir, turn left and hike up the stairs. This is the start of the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail.

Plover Cove Reservoir Hike: trail condition

The Plover Cove trail will take you up and down the ridges of the Plover Cove Country Park mountain.

It is a mixture of dirt paths, rocky uphills, stone stairways, etc. The rolling hills are not too difficult and not too slippery, but there are many of them! And I mean a lot!

Reaching the first peak: Ma Tau Fung

Shortly after you start the hike, you will see the first triangulation station at the peak. This is Ma Tau Fung.

At the top, you can start to see the reservoir. And when you look north, you can see the back of Plover Cove Country Park, including Tiu Tang Lung.

Also, a sign says, “the section ahead is extremely challenging. It is steep and unsheltered. Do not walk this trail in hot and unstable weather to avoid heatstroke, lightning and severe cold. Those without sufficient equipment, food, and water or physically unfit should not attempt this trial. Please retrace your steps.”

Please do not take this lightly. I did find that the Plover Cove hike is the hardest hike I’ve ever hiked in Hong Kong. And I hiked in February, but it was a relatively warm day. I finished most of my water, and I still had another 2 hours of hiking. So please bring enough water and choose a day that is not too hot.

Uphill hike to Wang Leng

Keep following the hiking trail; it will bring you up to several spots along the mountain ridge where you can see the reservoir.

By the time you reach the second triangulation station at Wang Leng, you will see this.

At Wang Leng Au junction, keep right

Continue hiking until you see a sign at the Wang Leng Au junction.

At Wang Leng Au junction, a sign indicates the directions for Wu Kau Tang and Luk Wu Tung.

To continue forward in the Plover Cove hike, keep right towards Luk Wu Tung. Remember that you should always keep hiking on the path on the right. There are two junctions along the entire Plover Cove Reservoir trail where you have to choose the right path; this is the first junction.

At Tai Tung, stay on the right towards Luk Wu Tung

After a few more hills, you will arrive at Tai Tung, where there is the second signpost.

Stay on the right and hike towards Luk Wu Tung to continue the Plover Cove hike.

FYI – I took a photo of the signpost in the middle of the junction, and it looks like you have to turn left to go to Luk Wu Tung. But when you arrive at this junction, you must stay on the right. Sorry, this photo is confusing (I can’t go back to take another photo), but I wanted to show what the signpost looks like.

If, for whatever reason, you need to go back to where you started, i.e. Wu Kau Tang, this is the only way out. Otherwise, continue hiking!

Luk Wu Tung: the best spot to admire Plover Cove Reservoir

Keep hiking – there is only one way now!

After a few more uphills and downhills, you will arrive at the mid-point of the Plover Cove hike: Luk Wu Tung, the most scenic spot along the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail.

At Luk Wu Tung, you can see the entire reservoir, including the Plover Cove Country Park mountain range. It is quite an impressive sight!

The rolling hills of southern Plover Cove Country Park

The path continues along the rolling hills of Plover Cove Country Park.

First, you have to hike up a rocky path. At the top, you can see the mountain range hugging the south side of the reservoir. Then, a long flight of stairs will bring you to the base of the mountain, and the path immediately takes you back up.

At this point, I forget how many hills I’ve hiked!

As you keep hiking on the Plover Cove Country Park circular trail, you can see different scenery on both sides of the mountain ridge.

On the left (looking south), you can see Tolo Channel and the north side of Sai Kung West Country Park.

And when you look west, you can see the actual hiking trail along the mountain ridge.

From one of the highest points on the ridge, you can see the rolling hills and hiking path in front of you. The scene itself is quite marvellous. But now, there are still a couple of hours to go.

Descending down the rolling hills of Plover Cove Park

At the last stretch of the Plover Cove hike, get a glimpse of the reservoir. The light aqua water is peacefully still.

And most of all, look at the undulating mountain ridge around the reservoir. This is the mountain range you just hiked across! You were at the top of the ridge and walked across to where you are standing now!

Moreover, take a look at the south side and see the Tolo Channel and the north side of Sai Kung and Ma On Shan. It certainly doesn’t feel like this is part of Hong Kong, as it is so peaceful and quiet.

Last peak at Cheung Pai Tung

The path continues to the last triangulation station at Cheung Pau Tung. It is the highest point of this mountain range, but there isn’t much to see. But nonetheless, it is a good shady spot for a bit of rest.

Plover Cove Reservoir Sub Dam

The rest of the trail is flat once you see the Plover Cove Reservoir Sub Dam. Yeay! I never thought I’d be so happy to hike a flat trail. But after 6 hours of hiking up and down the undulated hills, I am happy to be on flat land.

First, you’ll see the sub dam where you must walk across the straight path. When you reach the end, don’t hike up the small mountain; keep walking on the left side. It will bring you to the other side of the Plover Cove Reservoir sub-dam.

Follow the flat path in Pak Sha Tau

The flat path continues and winds through Pak Sha Tau, the last island at the end of the Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail.

Tai Mei Tuk Family Walk

And the final stretch of the hike includes a leisurely walk on Tai Mei Tuk Family Walk. The entire path is on a flat, smooth paved road, part of the Plover Cove Reservoir main dam.

In the distance, you can see the eight peaks of the Pat Sin Leng mountain range, another epic hike in Hong Kong.

Keep following the straight road and keep on the left until you reach Tai Mei Tuk, the day’s final destination.

Returning home from Tai Mei Tuk

Both Pat Sin Leng hiking trail and Plover Cove Reservoir trail end in Tai Mei Tuk, an area known for Tai Po District’s outdoor activities.

The easiest way to get back to the city is by taking minibus 20C at Tai Mei Tuk Bus Terminus and take it to the last stop, which is Tai Po Market MTR Station.

  • Minibus 20C: from Tai Mei Tuk Bus Terminus to Tai Po Market MTR Station

Interested in tours in Hong Kong? Try one of these tours below:

Are you ready for the challenge and attempt the epic Plover Cove Hike?

Even though it is one of the most difficult trails I have hiked in Hong Kong, I recommend any advanced hiker ready for a challenge. If you are an experienced hiker, you can probably finish the trail in less than 5.5 hours.

But if you want a short and easy hike in Hong Kong, there are plenty to choose from, such as Victoria Peak hike, Mount High West and Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill.

Let me know in the comments if you hiked Plover Cove with my hiking guide or have any questions.

Thank you for reading my Plover Cove Reservoir hiking itinerary

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Island Hikes
Island District Hikes
New Territories Hikes

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

6 Comments

  • Jan
    January 14, 2022 at 2:32 pm

    Overall very useful info, I wish I read this before starting my hike:-) I would perhaps offer two comments. Firstly, even in cold weather I would recommend to carry minimum 3 litres (for a man). Secondly, I am perplexed at these warnings in HK advising about extremely dangerous or difficult trails. Maybe “extremely” means sometihing else in HK English but there si nothing technically dangerous about this trail. The trail is difficult because of its length and nature (exposure to sun; rolling hills; not a single exit along the way) but technically speaking, kids over 10 years or so should not have much difficulty here. True, dirt trail can be skiddy sometimes, but with enough caution, very much doable even for inexperienced hikers.

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      January 14, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Jan, thank you for the comment. Definitely bring more water for this trail because there isn’t any opportunity to buy more. And as for the danger signs, I’ve seen them on several HK trails and I always wonder why the signs are even there because people just walk past the signs! I think they’re just doing their due diligence? The Plover Cove hike is not super difficulty but it’s just a really long trail. Thanks again 🙂

      Reply
  • Jennifer Moreno
    April 9, 2022 at 10:25 am

    I did hike so lu pon ghost village and it is also heavy indurance hike,and I am not an experienced hikers, literally I crawled one of the mountain going up,I never did expect that it is a very tough and long hike to reach so lu pon..its a very unforgettable hike for me bec I did it alone too and it’s my first time to hike,that time I didn’t fear for any ghost but I fear for my health 😅coz no one will know where am I if anything went wrong and most of the part has no phone signal..i started at wu kau tang and ended up at fan ling.. It is also a part of Plover Cove but at the different direction I think and it’s a 7hrs hike..thank you for this info that you shared its really a big help for us beginners,the do’s and don’ts.. What needs to bring and the difficulty of the hike..

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      May 5, 2022 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Jennifer, I responded but not sure where it went! So sorry! I”m happy to hear you had an eventful hike – solo hiking is fun but can feel scary because you’re in the mountain alone. But often times there are other hikers on the trail too. I don’t consider myself an experienced hiker and I felt this was one of the harder hikes for me. So glad I did it, though! Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Reply
  • Marc
    September 15, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    I did the hike in summer, a rare dry day in August. It is definitely a challenge in the heat and humidity, and would recommend not to venture out there on your own. If you’re alone, I would suggest you wait at the beginning and join a few others who go your way. Some of the hills are steep and slippery with loose pebbles. I lost my footing several times going downhill. A few more tips: Take a walking stick or cane to help you balance and reduce stress on your legs/knees. But also – I came across a wild dog around distance post 2625. I saw it running ahead, and it was then growling at me from back in the bushes. Nothing happened but it scared me a bit! (I was glad to have a stick in hand just in case.) Last but not least, there are plenty of giant orb spiders here (nephila pilipes). At first these hand-sized creatures look scary but in fact they are just so beautiful and -as I read- harmless to humans. Not sure but I think they’re only coming out in the wet season (summer). Aside from the landscape this is a sight worth seeing!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      September 15, 2023 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Marc,
      Wow I can’t imagine how hot it was in August. I went in January and thought it was quite toasty.
      I like all your suggestion about hiking solo. When I went there were groups of people in front of me and after me.
      As for the dog situation, I had a similar situation on Lantau Island. It is a scary situation because who knows what the dog is capable of. Glad you are okay.
      And if I saw the giant spiders, maybe it would motivate me to hike faster lol
      Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It is an amazing hike – I’d like to go back to the area someday and do other (shorter) treks.
      Happy hiking in Hong Kong!

      Reply

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