There are many ancient paths in Hangzhou, most of which have since been transformed into tourist destinations, offering hikers a chance to be at one with nature. If you fancy a hike to some of Hangzhou’s top views, then the following places are where you should begin.
Qianlong Ancient Path
Qianlong Ancient Path is named after Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, who is said to have walked on this path in ancient times. Hundreds of years ago, Qianlong Ancient Path was a must-pass when villagers wanted to get to Lingyin Temple to burn incense. The ancient path is only one meter in width but extremely long. Flanked by straight and green bamboo shoots, the path makes for a nice hiking venue even in the most stifling of summers.
The path stretches southwards from Xi Zhong Xi Hotel at the northern end of Jiuxi Road to the highest point of Yangmeiling Hill. Having been renovated in 2004, Qianlong Ancient Path is similar to a chain in that it connects scenic spots together like Jiuquling (Nine Zigzags) Mountain, Meinu (Beauty) Peak, Meijiawu Village and Shi Li Lang Dang (Langdang Peak).
Shi Li Lang Dang
Shi Li Lang Dang is perhaps the most famous and popular ancient path in Hangzhou. Also known as Langdang Peak, the path refers to all the hills from Wuyun Mountain in the south to the area in Tainzhu. The hills stretch for several kilometers, hence the name “Shi Li Lang Dang” with Shi Li refers to ten li (li is a length unit in China and equals to 500 meters.) Langdang Peak is mainly comprised of limestone which accounts for the unique landscape of towering peaks and overlapping mountains. Langdang Peak, with an altitude of over 200 meters, is the highest and longest peak of all the mountains around West Lake.
Pilgrim Ancient Path
Pilgrim Ancient Path was the path for pilgrims arriving in Maojiabu Village and travelling to temples in the Tianzhu area. The ancient path stretches from Yanggong Causeway to Maojiabu Village and is a culture corridor where people can reminisce and experience many folk customs.
The entrance of Pilgrim Ancient Path lies in between Wulong Bridge and Yinxiu Bridge on Yanggong Causeway. The area is serene and has few tourists but is inhabited by a number of wildlife. The path is characterized with wooden trestles, stone paths and arched bridges.
In Jiande, there is an ancient town that has experienced thousands of years of wind and rain. It has a beautiful name called Meicheng (Plum Blossom Town). Meicheng was the state town of the then Yanzhou and is now the county town of Jiande. It has a history of 1700 years.