Rolling Hills | Hiking a shepherd's track on a ridgeline
Hiking a shepherd's track on a ridgeline.

Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

A long but not difficult ramble along country trails and lanes through pine forests, cornfields, orchards, villages, and farmland in Miyun District.

Level 3
3–4 hours start to finish over 12km. (Can I do it?)
Book your place
Bookings close February 16

Booking info

Wednesday, February 17

¥360 / ¥325 for members

  1. 8:00am departure from the Liangmaqiao subway area
  2. 8:30am departure from the Lido Metropark Hotel Starbucks
Snacks and drinks provided after the hike.

Important—Bring your passport/ID card and Health Kit/健康宝 app, just in case.

Please note additional precautions and terms and conditions for hiking during the COVID-19 situation.

If the first village we pass on this hike hasn’t yet opened to outsiders we will need to re-route slightly.

This trail originally took us five scouting trips to put together and changes a little bit every time we visit. The hike covers a wide range of countryside scenery, including country trails and lanes, pine forests, orchards, farmland, a reservoir, the Stonewall Village, and a chicken farm, and we may see some shepherds rambling about as well.

The hike

We'll start off following a lane up to a small village nestled in a valley. From there we will follow a patchy trail over the hill to the Stonewall Village, named for the rocks on the bare hill that protect it from northerly winds – some say it looks a bit like Dartmoor in England. (We once had a fellow on the hike who knows Dartmoor, and he said it looks nothing like Dartmoor. We welcome further feedback on the topic.)

Branching off the lane that leads away from Stonewall Village is a hidden trail that will soon lead us to a clear path through the pine forest. The forest floor is has a thick covering of pine needles, and villagers often come to the forest to collect firewood. On one of our scouting trips we lost the trail, but after following the sound of breaking twigs we found a few farmers collecting firewood, and they were able to get us back on track. One one of our more recent visits, we found the trail blocked off by a big stack of cut branches and had a wee off-track adventure getting around and back on the trail.

The top trail on the Rolling Hills hike
The top trail on the Rolling Hills hike. (Click for larger image)

The trail (eventually) leads out of the forest and follows a zig-zag path past an aqueduct and through farmland, and we’ll then follow a paved path to the ‘top trail’ and one of the higher peaks in the area. There are some great views to be had at this point, and it's not likely we will see many people about.

From the peak we’ll hike into and out a valley, cutting through a birch plantation on the way and following narrow roads to the shepherds track that will take us up to the rim of ‘The Bowl’, another of the landmarks on this hike. After a few ups and downs along the rim of the bowl we’ll hike out a long valley to finish.

This walk is quite long, but it's not difficult – aside from the hike up the ‘top trail’ there is not a lot of climbing up and down. The views are excellent, and the sparse population makes it a very peaceful area to walk in.

Note: the trail could get rather brushy in places – we recommend you wear trousers to protect your legs.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes

  1. Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes, 2020/10/31

    Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes, 2020/10/31

    We weren’t expecting a sandstorm on this walk, but the gloomy skies were sort of appropriate for a Halloween hike—take a look at 26 photos of farmland and foliage in Miyun District's rolling hills.
  2. Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes, 2019/10/27

    Rolling Hills and Empty Lanes, 2019/10/27

    We always make sure to schedule this hike in autumn because the colours in the hills here are so pretty—click through to see 22 photos from a walk through the rolling hills of Miyun County.

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