Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Silvermine Waterfall & Stream (銀礦群瀑)

Why it's worth it: 

Ferry to Silvermine Waterfall: 30 min. 1.5k
Silvermine Waterfall to stream:10 min. 400m.
Stream: 1-1.5 hours. 400m. 
Return to ferry: 2.5k. 30-45 minutes.

Garmin GPS route: n/a

Difficulty: 5/10

Cel phone coverage: Everywhere.

Water needs: 0.75 liter.

Appreciation: 5/10. Water flow is low. Water is polluted (no swimming). Waterfalls are not the most attractive. There are much nicer stream treks to be done. However, on the trail to the stream, there are nice little villages, flowers, and occasional cats. And some Turkish food at Bahce on the way back will upgrade the trek to a 10/10 ! ;-)

Transportation: Take ferry to Mui Wo from Central pier.

Right out of the ferry, head right.

Map from ferry to Silvermine lower falls. Click to enlarge.

Keep going towards the beach.

Right before the Silvermine Beach Resort, turn left.

Go straight at the big tree.

Go straight still. Actually, you can also head left and follow the signs but it is a little bit longer.

About 5 minutes in. Head left.

You'll climb a flight of stairs. Coming from the stairs, the path to take is to your right. (Left on the picture)

That's it, you are in sight of the lower Silvermine falls.

Silvermine lower falls. You can scale them but there's not much of a point because there  is a path on the left of the falls and you won't miss anything by taking it instead. So, take the path going up, left of the falls.

On your way up, you will see the entrance to an abandoned silver mine. Turn left at the top of the falls (where the signs are). You are on the Olympic trail by the way.

Little bit further, you'll arrive at this crossroads. Take a right and you'll go over a bridge. 

Keep walking, you'll go by a few houses and an orchard.

The concrete path then climbs a little. Be on the alert for a wooden post and a small concrete protrusion on the left (pictured). That's where the path to the stream starts. The path should be quite obvious.

The path through the woods. You'll see pipes along the path.

Eventually, the path stops at the stream and you'll see the first set of falls on your right.

Water is not appealing. I wouldn't swim in it...

 The first set of falls, Pearl Falls (珍珠瀑). You can climb on the left. Easy.

On top, you'll reach the second set of falls, the Silvermine mains falls. You can bypass them on the left. Now, it is a bit tricky because the ribbons are far and apart and it is relatively easy to get lost. Just gauge when you have reach about the height of the waterfall, then head back towards the falls. 

You should see those concrete shapes. That's where you want to get back to the stream. There were some ribbons  delineating a path when I was there. You'll see more falls.

More small falls. Bypass on the right.

Yet more falls. On the right again.

You'll eventually reach this man-made "dam" made of piled-up stones. Bypass it on the right. You are about 15 minutes away from the end of the stream.

That's it. End of the stream. Bypass on the left. Then walk on the small dam to the right where the path lies.

The service path will lead you to a proper trail. Just 30-45 minutes to go to get back to the pier.... or to Bahce for some halumi!

Where the service path reaches the trail proper. Enjoy the view.

Head right, towards Mui Wo in a distance. You can't really get lost, just retrace your steps as this is the trail you left to enter the stream.

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Please, don't litter!

Hiking is about communion with nature. So please pickup after yourself. There's no excuse to leave plastic bags, water bottles or any rubbish on or around the trails; if you managed to bring it, you can manage to bring it back!