On this hike you’ll see both repaired and unrepaired Great Wall, as well as lakes, mountains, and streams.
The Lakeside Great Wall is a park area that features repaired Great Wall that both rises above and dips down into the Xishuiyu Reservoir.
Out the back of the park area is the Longquanyu Great Wall, where you’ll hike along the last part of unrepaired Great Wall in the area as well as some that has been repaired more recently.
After exploring the unrepaired wall we’ll hike back into the park area and follow the lakeside trail back to the bus. (Optional—buy a ticket for the speedboat instead of walking.)
After the hike we’ll head to a nearby village restaurant for a big hot meal and cold drinks.
At the Lakeside Great Wall we start off by crossing over the ‘70s-era dam that created the reservoir here, and then we make a short climb to get up on to the repaired Great Wall. From atop the wall here we’ll be able to see wall all around – an unrepaired section of Great Wall climbing a cliff above the reservoir, and more of the repaired wall on the other side of the lake. The views of the reservoir itself are also excellent – the wall runs high above the lake, and we’ll see little paddleboats dotting the water.
We’ll come down off the wall and follow a park road around the corner a little way before taking a turn to get back on the Great Wall, first passing the ‘Great Wall in the water’ before hiking up and over a peak. The climb up to the top is fairly steep, and the climb down the other side is even steeper. We’ll take our time here.
The wall dips down to the water again, and we’ll cross over the Glass Bridge to find the Ming Dynasty Chestnut Orchards and the beach area. The chestnut orchards have some trees that are more than 600 years old.
Small stalls by the beach sell cold drinks and ice creams, plus chestnuts when in season. After a break at the beach we’ll head on to Longquanyu.
Just outside the Lakeside Great Wall park area is a short stretch of repaired Great Wall that soon turns rough and wild. We’ll follow the wall up to a large tower on a hill top, and then over and along to a dip in the hills. A short, steep, and somewhat tricky descent takes us down into the dip.
Beyond the dip the Great Wall heads up to cliffs and then dead-ends. We won’t hike up that way; we’ll instead follow field trails down into a valley, and then down a narrow track to get back to the Lakeside Great Wall scenic area. (We’d originally wanted to continue to hike the rest of the wall at Longquanyu, but the village rules there are not very hiker-friendly right now.)
We can take a quick detour up to the Black Dragon Pool before hiking out down the valley back to the beach area.
Hikers who would like extra exercise can follow the lakeside trail back to the bus. If you’d like to get back to the bus the fast (or faster) way, you can buy a ticket for a boat ride back to the dam—the fast way is the slow boat, faster (just a few minutes, too fast!) is the speed boat.