Great Summer Hike: Waterfalls and Tree Cover at Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

More than just a summer hike, this one takes you through rivers and streams with giant rocks perfect for sunbathing, or shaded ones where you can read a book at leisure…

Duration: 1 hr 30

Distance: 3km

Difficulty: 2/4

IMG_1415 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

Start or end at the Bride’s Pool area. This photo was taken at Mirror Pool

We spent a wholly satisfying day yesterday at the Plover Cove Country Park doing a baby hike that took us through some truly beautiful landscapes. If you love being in nature but aren’t keen on burning to a crisp under the summer sun, this one’s perfect. I had been in the area before (Read: Summer Hike: Pat Sin Leng to Bride’s Pool Waterfall) and decided to do another, shorter trail that would give us more time to explore rather than rush to finish a longer hike.

So I chose the Wu Kau Tang Country Trail, a 2.4 km shaded walk that “runs parallel with a hill stream” making for cooler temperatures. The generous tree cover shields you from direct rays for most of the hike, while the upland areas are visited by fresh breezes (or we were just extra-lucky that day…!).

Map Wu Kau Tang

This is the route we took (more or less) from south to north. It’s easier to not get lost from north to south though, so if you’re not confident about your sense of direction, then start at the north!

Get there

From MTR Tai Po Market Station, we took minibus 20C to Tai Mei Tuk, and caught a taxi to the start of Bride’s Pool Nature Trail. (Again, the easier way would be to start up north and head down, as Wu Kau Tang Country Trail is more easily accessed and better signposted that way). We were relying on Google Maps to get the direction right, and made a few blunders along the way, but some rewarding as we discovered Mirror Pool.

We arrived at Bride’s Pool around noon, at the hottest part of the day. S decided to sunbathe on the massive flat rocks near the waterfall, while I read a book in the shade for an hour or so.

How to find the waterfall:

  1. Go down to the stream until you see a bridge (the one closer to the road)
  2. Take the hidden path on the right side of the bridge, with the stream on your left.

When the sun wasn’t as strong, we decided to start the hike and got lost. We accidentally took the trail up to Mirror Pool, which turned out to be an even higher waterfall that that of Bride’s Pool. There’s an interesting (dry) scramble on the right side that can take you quite high up beside the waterfall, but we left that for another day.

Then we got lost in the village of Wu Kau Tang after passing the endpoint of the Plover Cove Country Trail (15.5km – aiming to do this next winter!) Don’t forget to bring mosquito spray, as the bugs can get vicious around here. Hopefully you’ll be able to find it much easier than we did, but we finally got to the start of the trail mid-afternoon.

IMG_9708 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

Finally found this signpost! From Mirror Pool we crossed the bridge and turned left

IMG_9710 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

The village of Wu Kau Tang

IMG_9711 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

Finally found the marker/map indicating the start of Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

IMG_9712 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

Everyone was clearly making their exit here; we were the only ones to enter via the trail’s south end

That day we apparently walked 3.9km and went up 236m, down 201m. The trail had a fair bit of uphill (40%?), but as the entire length is so short, we enjoyed the exercise while it lasted. Total elevation was around 274m.

If you decide to take it from the north and end in Wu Kau Tang Village, there are bus stops over there, but we never saw a bus that day on our way out. However, you probably have higher chances of getting either bus or taxi there, so we walked back south from the north exit of the country trail and found a taxi was coming out of Wu Kau Tang Village, which we took back to Tai Mei Tuk.

IMG_9713 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

View of Ma On Shan across the water, and Plover Cove to the left

IMG_9714_edited Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

North end of the trail, with views of Shenzhen city’s skyscrapers in China across the border

IMG_9716 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

The port of Shenzhen to our right

IMG_9717 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

A small bamboo forest

IMG_9718 Wu Kau Tang Country Trail

North entrance of Wu Kau Tang Country Trail from Bride’s Pool Road

Finally, where to eat at Tai Mei Tuk? Our first choice was Jack’s Terrazza Ristorante, but its kitchen is closed in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. I had eaten at Pataya (Thai) before but wanted to try something else (not oily!). We ended up in Cafe de Country Art and it was HORRIBLE!! Don’t even bother, we had to pay a whopping HK$600 for an abominable meal.

Get out

If you still have time/energy you can rent a bike here and cycle all the way back (9.3km) to MTR Tai Po Market Station (Read: Cycling in Hong Kong: Tai Wai to Ma On Shan). The cycling paths are well kept and you can choose the route along the waterfront; I believe you can return the bike at the end of your journey. We just took the same minibus 20C back to the MTR station.

I was a bit bummed out that hiking season had ended in Hong Kong without me being able to do more major hikes. However, I’ve come up with a summer plan of outdoor activities to keep me happy and in nature despite the heat and humidity of the upcoming months. I’ll be keeping you up to date here as they pan out – are you ready for the hot season?!

Till the next adventure,

julienne

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