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.
The hike at Longquanyu finishes with a steep climb up the Great Wall, taking you to a tower with fantastic views of the Great Wall running along ridgelines all the way back to the Lakeside Great Wall and beyond.
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.
After a break at the beach we’ll head on to Longquanyu. (Small stalls by the beach sell cold drinks and ice creams, plus chestnuts when in season.)
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 through chestnut orchards and up a terraced valley to rejoin the wall on the other side of the cliffs.
A little further along the wall we’ll get on to a more recently repaired section of Great Wall. The footing for hiking here gets easier – it’s solid and not slippery – but there’s a bit of hiking to do yet. On a high ridge in front of us we’ll spot the highest point of the hike and the steep stair climb we’ll need to do before we get to the end.