Field trip along Stage 6 of the MacLehose Trail
Saturday, 12 March 2005
Leader: Dr. Raynor Shaw Dr. Raynor Shaw of the Geotrails Society is the coauthor of the recently published authoritative guide to the MacLehose Trail. Dr. Shaw is a mapping geologist with the Hong Kong Geological Survey. Following two highly enjoyable geological walks in 2002 and 2003, Dr. Shaw is leading a field trip along Stage 6 of the MacLehose Trail, lecturing on the geology, geomorphology, zoology, botany and history of the route during the day. Stage 6 of the MacLehose trail is an enjoyable walk of moderate difficulty, with spectacular views of the wild countryside of the New Territories and other areas. Stage 6 starts at the old Tai Po road, which was the only major access route to the New Territories until the Lion Rock tunnel was opened. Stage 6 runs across Kam Shan Country Park, which has fascinating geology and several historic sites. It first crosses the Lai Chi Kok Tolo Channel Fault Zone, the major fault crossing Hong Kong separating coarse grained granite to the south side from fine grained granite to the north, forming the Sha Tin Valley and Tolo Channel. There is then the Kam Shan Tree walk, with many interesting species of trees, including the Chinese Red Pine. Along the trail there are many interesting features in the granite, including natural drainage tunnels and a cave illustrating the weathering of the granite. The trail then has views of the Lion Rock Ridge and goes by the Smugglers Ridge Police Firing Range and Golden Hill. From here there is an excellent view of Tsuen Wan, originally Gin Drinker's Bay, so named before the reclamation for Tsuen Wan as a haunt of expats on boat trips. There are several interesting geological stops, illustrating jointing patterns in different kinds of granite, with crystals of quartz and feldspar. There is then the highlight of Stage 6, the Shing Mun Redoubt, a major part of Hong Hong's defences built in the 1930s. The Redoubt has 18 km of defensive positions on the northern end of Smuggler's Ridge, comprising pill boxes and light artillery positions, connected by underground tunnels. Some of these tunnels can be visited and all have amusing colonial names such as Charing Cross. Access to the tunnels is safe, but members should bring their own torch.