Hiking Festival 2014: Hike for fun along a 7.5km course that visits villages, hills, and Great Wall on the way to the finish. All-inclusive price includes transportation and water and snacks at strategic points along the trail.
The trail will be marked in advance, so you can make your way at fun speed or fast speed. We’ll station volunteers along the way.
Booking and payment
Book your place through our website, and we’ll send you all the information you’ll need for a fun day out in the hills. Payments should be made in advance, no later than October 19.
Trail description: Fragrant Village to the Little West Lake
This hike begins with a walk down a narrow concrete road that leads to a small village, passing fields and orchards in an area that used to have a few mines. At the back of the village is a narrow path that runs up through orchards to join the first section of Great Wall that we'll follow.
In this first section of Great Wall, it's just the climb to the second tower that is a little steep. After that, though, the ups and downs are a little more gradual. The wall follows the ridgeline, allowing views of mountains on one side, and the Longquanyu water canyon on the other. In places, it is overgrown and bushy, sometimes tumbled down.
The Great Wall is often built up and down incredibly steep hillsides; a highlight of this section is a special spot where the wall meets a cliff that forms a natural barrier, the steps of the wall leading up to a sheer cliff. Quite obviously we can’t go that way, so we’ll take a hillside detour, walking through chestnut orchards to get back on to our second section of wall for the day.
Slippery: the first part of the detour goes down a slippery slope through trees.
The second section of Great Wall continues much as the first, and a natural barrier will again force us off. This time, though, it's a valley that makes it difficult to continue, with the ruined wall making a steep descent into the valley. Instead of trying a dangerous descent over loose rocks and bricks dislodged by trees and weathering, we'll follow a thin dirt trail down the hill, into the valley, and then past the remnants of the wall as we head for the Little West Lake.
Steep: The stairs coming down the last stretch of Great Wall are steep, and you must take your time to avoid a fall.
After getting on to the valley floor the walking is flat and easy, following park trails over a drawbridge and around the Little West Lake, actually a reservoir formed by a dam. After making a circuit of the water, we'll head down to the carpark to finish the Hike for Fun trail.
After the hike
Right by the end of the trail is the spot where we’ll have a small outdoor celebration before heading back to the city.
At the celebration: Meet all the other hikers and enjoy drinks and snacks in the countryside. Beijing Hikers will put on a little picnic, providing cold and hot drinks, and light snacks.
We’ll travel in to and from the trail in comfortable mini-buses. Going to the post-hike celebration and coming back to Beijing, the buses will depart when full. Transportation is included in the cost of the hike.
08:00: begin check in at Agriculture Exhibition Center subway exit
08:30 (sharp!): depart from Agriculture Exhibition Center subway
10:00: toilet stop at the Ming Tombs
10:10: drive on to the beginning of the Hike for Fun route
10:40: arrive at the trailhead, group photo and opening ceremony
10:50: the Hike for Fun begins!
14:30: Last bus leaves for the post-hike celebration
15:00: Post-hike celebration
16:00: Last bus departs for Beijing
18:00: Arrive back at Agriculture Exhibition Center subway
Extra event information
This is a no smoking event
Who can participate?
The hiking festival is open to anyone in good physical health. If you're not in good physical health or have a health condition that could be exacerbated by hiking – for example, but not limited to, high blood pressure, heart disease or history of heart disease in family – or if you're healthy but haven't exercised in more than a year, you should not participate.
We will ask you to sign a waiver to certify the above, a requirement for participation.
The 7.5km Hike for Fun event is suitable for children above the age of seven who are used to exercise. Children must be accompanied by adults.
The 24.5km Challenge is suitable for people over the age of 18 who are used to vigorous physical exercise.
To participate in this event, you will need appropriate clothing and footwear: hiking boots or trail-running shoes; a light backpack to hold water and your snacks for the event; clothing suited to the weather conditions, including warm layers.
Beijing Hikers reserves the right to refuse participation; don't show up unprepared.
Included in the cost
- Round-trip transportation, departing from and returning to the Agricultural Exhibition Center subway station on Line 10.
- Certificate of completion, with a special prize for places one through five
- Trail maintenance prior to the event
- First aid: ambulance with medical staff and equipment
- Basic outdoor insurance Rest stops where you can pick up water and a biscuit or two; water is included in the price of the event
- Post event celebration with snacks and drinks
- Trail sweeper
This may seem a little bit like a race, but it’s not really a race. Be respectful of others on the trail: if they’re faster than you, please step aside and let them by; if they’re slower than you, a polite ‘Coming through, please’ will do the trick.
Steep sections: parts of the trail follow the Great Wall, and in some places the ascents and descents are steep and slippery. Care will be required to prevent a fall, particularly on descents. Slow down on steep section.
Slippery sections: parts of the trail are off-track and cross gravelly and rough sections of ground, sometimes ascending and descending. Care will be required to prevent a fall.
Brush and thorns: parts of the trail go through wild areas, and the trail may narrow. Bushes may obscure where you'll want to place your feet; branches may hang across the trail; and thorny date bushes border sections of the trail.
Rough trails, forks and turns: parts of the trail go through wild areas, and care must be taken to follow the correct path. We will mark the trail and all forks with trail markers, and you must pay attention to these in order to keep on the trail.
Vehicles: parts of the trail follow roads, where we may encounter vehicles. Please pay attention to your surroundings, especially when rounding corners.
Meeting points and return to the city
The pickup and drop off point for the event is the subway exit at the Agricultural Exhibition Center on Line 10.
Because we are limited with daylight for the event, we will not wait for you if you are running late.
Check in for the event begins 30 minutes before departure; arrive early for a good seat on the bus!
Cancellations and refunds
No refunds for cancellations on or after October 19. We will refund if you contact us before the 19th.
On the 24th we'll check the weather; if the weather is dangerous we will postpone the event to the next week.
If the event is cancelled on the day for reasons beyond our control, there will be no refunds.