Located within South Lantau Country Park, Shek Pik Reservoir (石壁水塘) is the third largest freshwater reservoir in Hong Kong. Running along its eastern perimeter is the Shek Pik Country Trail, a moderately easy hiking trail that winds from the base of the reservoir to the Wisdom Path at Ngong Ping Village, which is also home to Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Giant Buddha.
At 5.5 kilometers long and with a total elevation gain of 400 meters, the Shek Pik Country trail is not the most challenging of Lantau’s trails, nor it is the most scenic. In fact, most of the trail winds through thick forest, obscuring any views of the surrounding areas except the occasional panorama of the reservoir below. On this particular day with a thick winter haze in the air, and the Big Buddha under renovations, there was even less to see.
Still the trail is busy, being the entry point to the popular Kau Nga Ling (Dog’s Teeth Range) trails, a set of precipitous ridge hikes that run up the southern side of Lantau Peak (the trailheads of the Central and West ridges are both located part way on route). However, hiking the full length of the country trail to the Ngong Ping is never a bad idea, and if you’re feeling energetic, you can always continue with the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail all the way to Tung Chung!