This is one of my Sunday family hikes. Tai Po Kau is a beautiful nature reserve, combining lush forests with crystal clear streams and rivers. It is also well known for the fireflies, which can be best watched in spring and summer.
We started off at the main entrance to the reserve, a car park at Tai Po Road. From there the trail heads steep up into the hills, later levelling out. We walked along the river to the south-western end of the area, reaching the Forest Track, a paved road that is used for vehicle access to the area. Luckily it’s a closed road so there is no traffic other than the occasional AFCD van.
A few gaps in between the trees allow for great views over the valley, on a clear day like this Shenzhen can be seen in the distance. Unfortunately the air pollution was very visible as well, as a brown layer just above the horizon.
Arriving at Lead Mine Pass we had a look at the sources of Tai Po river. Here at various spots the water wells up from the ground, forming a network of small streams that quickly congregate and form the river that runs down to Tai Po. As it is so well visible here, I dedicated an earth cache to this phenomenon. It is really interesting to see all this water well up from the ground, especially considering it hadn’t rained for almost two weeks. This crystal clear water is probably perfectly drinkable, having been filtered through the course sandy soil.
From here it was an easy but steep walk down back to Tai Po. For me a very familiar stretch, Lead Mine Pass is a junction of trails coming from all directions, but only one of them that leads back home.
Halfway down, Tai Po town is perfectly visible, bathing in the afternoon sun. The end of this four hour, 10 km walk.