Our Flower Wood hike takes us along a trail that connects two villages in the hills of Huairou, passing orchards, fields, reservoirs, grindstones, and sometimes donkeys!
The hike starts off mostly flat, but there’s a bit of hill-climbing to do near the middle. The first climb is the toughest; after that it’s much easier – a nice day out in the countryside that’s not too tough.
Flower Wood is a small roadside settlement, and we’ll start the hike with a stroll through its narrow streets. At the back of the village, a bridge crosses a dried riverbed, and a trail leads through the fields, heading for the hills.
The trail was made by villagers to make it easier to transport produce from the orchards in the hills. To begin with, it was a narrow dirt path; since then it’s gradually widened to allow the little blue three-wheeler trucks to get in. We’ll follow the trail up a long valley, walking through all the chestnut orchards on the way to the hill trail that will take us over the ridge.
The climb up and over the ridge is the toughest part of today’s hike, a climb of approximately 200m over 1.5km of trail. As well as being a decent climb, it’s also a little bushy!
At the top of the hill is one of the main landmarks of the hike: an old, old pine tree, alongside a recently-built shrine. We’ll take a break here before continuing on to Lily Village.
The countryside around Lily Village is quite similar to that around Flower Wood, but the hills are much smaller. We’ll follow narrow dirt trails through more orchards on the way down to the village road.
From the village we’ll follow a newly-sealed road up a broad valley, passing a large reservoir that’s a popular fishing spot, even in winter. Behind the reservoir we’ll follow an old quarrying track further into the hills, and after a while we’ll turn off that trackand head down a narrow gully, aiming for the dirt road that will take us down and out a long valley and on to Haizi Village.
Haizi Village is where we start our regular Silver Pagodas hike. The park area around the pagodas is being reconstructed, so we probably won’t be able to get a good look at the pagodas. On the way to the end of the hike we’ll walk through the hills around the pagodas, and take a quick detour to have a peek at what’s happening with the Silver Pagodas. After that, we’ll walk out a new track to finish by the roadside.
What to bring on this hike
- Lunch and snacks to eat
- Sun protection: long-sleeved shirt, hat
- A bottle of sports drink with salt content (Gatorade, Pocari Sweat)
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not like this hike
- One part of the track is going to be fairly overgrown, and it will take us about 30 minutes to go through it.
- We’re on narrow roads for parts of the hike
- The pagodas area is under reconstruction, and we might not be able to get a really good look at the pagodas.