Updated: Dec 13, 2020
The Pineapple Dam trail to Shing Mun Reservoir will have you sharing the path with the locals of the area, the monkeys running alongside you or jumping from tree to tree. You can either do the Shing Mun Reservoir Walk which is a loop around the reservoir or you can do only the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail, explore a bit and come back the same way.
Difficulty Rating: 3/10 (few flights of stairs but mostly flat ground, difficulty goes up to 4/10 if you complete the whole 9km loop which has some steep slopes)
Duration: 2 to 3.5 hours (two hours is enough to check out the scenic spots, but you can easily spend even more than 4 hours exploring)
Cell Service: 5/5
Instagrammability: 5/5 (this can be a lot lower if you go on a rainy/gloomy day)
How to Get There:
*You can also drive there by mapping to 'Shing Mun Country Park Visitor Centre'. Once you reach, you can park on the streets around there. Best to go early to find a spot!
Before you begin, there is a kiosk near the bus stop where you can stock up on refreshments as there won't be any supplies along the trail.
Take the stairs going up right next to the mini-bus stop (image 1). The sign says 'Shing Mun Country Park Visitor Centre'.
Follow the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail (image 2). Along the way, there are a few spots on the right where you can climb down and take a first peek of the dam.
After about 30 minutes of walking and climbing, the Pineapple Dam Nature Trail will come to an end and you will be on a concrete driveway.
To your left, there is a map if you'd like to check out where you are. Facing the driveway, take a right (image 3).
Within the next 10 minutes, you will come across a path of high 'paper-bark' trees and fresh air - a popular photography spot. This is the official start of the 'paper-bark' trees forest. If you look closely, you can see the paper texture on the barks.
After another 5-10 minutes by the Shing Mun Reservoir Creek, you will see a path on your right that is going down. It is a tiny path that is easy to miss, with several warning signs next to it (labeled as 'viewpoint' in the map below). Take that path and you will end up in the most gorgeous area with paper-bark trees surrounded by the dam.
You can easily find a spot here to put down a mat and relax by the water when it is low tide. We saw a bridal photoshoot happening here!
Do not however make the mistake we did of opening a snack even though there are no monkeys in plain sight. A pack of monkeys jumped out of the trees to grab the snacks, and one of us was scratched and left bleeding on the arm.
Once you go back up, you can continue on the same path following the signs of 'Shing Mun Reservoir Walk' and complete the loop around the dam. You will come across over 15 picnic sites to take pit stops at and observe the monkeys.
Complete route of the loop on Google Maps:
Check out the Tai Shing Stream and then complete the loop by following Wilson Trail Sec 7. You will end up where you began and you can take the same minibus back.
The loop is a great walking workout with several steep slopes. If you're not looking for a workout, you can return the same way you came and explore other short trails in the area such as the butterfly trail which also leads back to the minibus.
There are lots of monkeys on this trail during spring and summer. Observe them swiftly jumping between branches or taking care of the young.
They are harmless if you are just walking by and usually even if you take photos of them. Do NOT open any snacks during the trail as they can be very aggressive in snatching the food from you.