We made our Moss Mountain hike a little longer by starting at Zhuangdaokou instead of walking right up to the Walled Village. Hiking a bit further was the right choice on this day, because the weather was perfect.
We started out with the easy climb up to the big arch in the Great Wall at Zhuangdaokou, and then headed on through fields to the Walled Village.
After a quick look about the Walled Village we hiked on over towards Moss Mountain, following farmer’s roads and field trails up into a forest.
Just before the forest is an old quarry, where we stopped for a lunch break. Nearby the quarry is a mysterious set of stairs, which we’d always been curious about. Where do they lead? On this visit we had time to take a look. Spoiler alert: at the top of the stairs are more stairs. But then there’s a path that leads over a hill to a house, supposedly inhabited by a ‘rich family’. Well, that’s what the locals told us.
We headed into the forest, aiming for a landmark in the middle – a huge old pine tree with a little shack next to it.
From the pine tree we made the last major climb of the day, crossing a ridge and getting into the back hills of a countryside park area.
On the way down into the park we made a detour to check out a waterfall. We hadn’t been up to the waterfall for quite a few years, and were wondering if there was any water up there after the heavy rains of summer 2016. There wasn’t any water, but there was quite a lot of ice. If we’d been a month earlier we might have seen the ice covering the whole cliff face. As it was, most of the ice was in a big pile at the foot of the cliff.
After the waterfall detour it was a relatively quick walk to the park entrance, passing more rocks and boulders on the way.