Hike Festival: 24km Challenge
Complete a mountain walking half marathon on a 24.56km course that visits villages, and crosses hills and Great Wall on the way to the end.
Hiking Festival 2014: Challenge yourself and complete a mountain walking half marathon on a 24.56km course that visits villages, and crosses hills and Great Wall on the way to the end.
Pre-marked trail; pick up more water at our supply stations along the course.
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 so you can see you’re on the right track, and you’ll be able to pick up water at strategically located rest stops.
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: High Rise to Linlong Mountain
Maps: Trail map | Altitude chart | Sketch map
Section 1: High Rise hike to the Walled Village
Your challenge begins at the carpark of a small village in the hills of Changping District, with a walk up a road that leads to a larger village nestled in the hills.
The going gets tough at the back of the village, with a big hill climb up an old mining track, peaking at almost 850m.
Brushy: this path is seldom used, and there are a few of those nasty thorn bushes along the side of the trail.
The trail transverses the higher part of the hill, and then heads down a steep zig-zag trail, passing through a valley filled with chestnut trees.
At the bottom of the valley the trail joins a concrete road, which leads to a larger village.
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.
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.
Coming out of the park, it’s time for another hill climb, a steep and scrambly ascent that takes you up on to a rough section of unrestored Great Wall, then along it, and off again on a leafy and narrow trail that leads down to the Walled Village.
The hillside trail takes us down through pines before getting into some chestnut orchards, and we end up walking past the Walled Village, an old Ming Dynasty army barracks that has been converted into a little village, with courtyard houses inside the walls now instead of soldiers.
If you haven’t made it to the Walled Village before 5 hours is up, or if at that point you decide you’ve had enough, that’s where you’ll finish for the day. No problem, and you will still have made a great effort, walking 16km!
Section 2: Walled Village to Linlongshan
We'll head up the concrete road that services the villagers' chestnut orchards and then turning off on to a gravel road that heads up towards a quarry.
Behind the quarry a brushy trail leads uphill and into a forest, and deep in the forest we'll find a small shack right next to a huge pine tree.
Past the pine tree the path leads further up into the forest, crossing at a pass on a ridgeline and descending into an area of orchards, terraces, and rocky hills.
A slippery trail takes us down on to flatter ground, and then it’s an easy walk to complete your challenge!
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.
06:00: Begin check in at Agriculture Exhibition Center subway exit
06:30 (sharp!): Depart from Agriculture Exhibition Center subway
07:45: Toilet stop at the Ming Tombs
07:55: Drive on to the beginning of the Hike for Fun route
08:30: Arrive at the trailhead, group photo and opening ceremony
08:40: The Challenge begins!
13:30: Cut-off time at the Walled Village
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.