Field trip along Stage 5 of the MacLehose Trail
Saturday, 26 April 2003
Leaders: Professor Bernie Owen and Dr. Raynor Shaw
Professor Bernie Owen of the Geography Department of Baptist University and Dr. Bernard Shaw of the Hong Kong Geological Survey are the authors of the recently published authoritative guide the MacLehose Trail. Following their highly enjoyable geological walk in December 2002, they will lead a field trip along Stage 5 of the MacLehose Trail, lecturing on the geology, geomorphology, zoology, botany and history of the route during the day. Stage 5 of the MacLehose trail is an enjoyable walk of moderate difficulty, with spectacular views of the wild countryside of the New Territories, Kowloon Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong.
The trip starts at Gilwell Camp, high in the hills above Sai Kung. From here there are beautiful views towards Clover Cove and the Sai Kung Peninsula. The trail leads up to Tate's Cairn, from which the extent of urban development of the new town of Sha Tin can be viewed, reclaimed from a tidal estuary with a rice-growing population of only 30,000.
The trail follows along the ridge of the mountains over looking Kowloon, with spectacular views as far as Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong. There are also interesting military installations from World War II, where this was a major defensive line. The mountain of Fei Ngo Shan can also be seen, with a clear break between the volcanic tuff at the top of the ridge and granites, which underlie the lower slopes. Along the trail there is also fine exposed pink granite.
The trail passes Sha Tin pass, where there is a small restaurant for refreshments, with good views of the strong vertical joints of Lion Rock peak. The trail then climbs up Beacon Hill through thick forest past another WWII military post. The trail descends through attractive woods to the Tai Po Road, via the well-known wild macaque monkey colony near the Eagle's Nest Nature Trail.