Shuitou Loop hike | A farm road near Shuitou Village
A farm road near Shuitou Village.

Shuitou Village Loop hike

Hike over the hills to isolated Shuitou Village, hidden deep in the hills of Huailai District. Great hilly scenery and exercise, and a walk through at a village that has only changed a little since the ’80s.

Level 4
Approx. 5 hours of hiking over around 16km. (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

This trail follows short sections of a few of our Zhenbiancheng area hikes, but adds a big extra section that takes us back in time with a hike over to the left-in-the-80s village of Shuitou.16km in the hills and valleys, with a good 952m of ascent over the course of the hike.

Members and regulars who have had enough Great Wall: You'll see a bit of wall on this hike, but just 600m of the whole trail is actually on the wall. The rest of it is hill trails and dirt roads.

The hike

The Shuitou Loop hike is a trail that starts at the old barracks of Zhenbiancheng. The loop trail takes us over the hills to Shuitou Village, an old farming settlement that is slowly developing, and then back over the Great Wall and down a forested valley to complete the circuit.

We start off with a walk through the streets of Zhenbiancheng, once a walled barracks of the Ming Dynasty and now a small farming town.

Behind the village are some fairly large mountains, including Bijia Mountain and its distinctive craggy peaks.

Cresting the first big hill on the hike
Cresting the first big hill on the hike. (Click for larger image)

We make a big climb over a saddle next to Bijia Mountain, and then hike down into Potato Valley. We’re not sure if that’s the actual name of the valley, but that’s what we call it – our local guide said that they used to grow their potatoes down there back in the day. It’s quite a long walk from the village to do a bit of gardening. No one grows potatoes any more, and that means the trail is rough and brushy. We might find some great mushrooms!

At the end of Potato Valley is an old gravel road, which leads to Shuitou Village. There’s some Great Wall near Shuitou Village, but it’s so isolated that not many people visit. The village is slowly developing though, now that the road has been fixed up. When we first scouted this area, the village was still rustic enough that it made Big Boss Huijie feel like she was back in 80s-era China

From Shuitou Village we hook around and follow old farm trails up a long valley, eventually crossing the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall, and then heading down the hills on the other side to finish the hike.

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: Shuitou Village Loop hike

  1. Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2021/07/31

    Shuitou Village Loop hike, 2021/07/31

    See fourteen photos from a ramble around the hills between Zhenbiancheng and Shuitou—green hills, sunshine, flowers, and a little bit of the Zhenbiancheng Great Wall.

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