In my last post I talked about hiking Wuliaojian. I liked it a lot because most of it is proper climbing and not just walking along a smooth trail. However, it’s rather physically demanding which means it’s not suitable for everyone. The same weekend as I went to Wuliajian, me and my wife also decided to bring our son out for a short hike somewhere. My wife found a trail called Xianshan Trail that seemed suitable for us so we went there. It turned out to be an easier, less demanding alternative to Wuliaojian.
The trail head is at a Buddhist temple on a platform, a short distance up in the mountains. There are two alternative routes up to a small plateau with a pavilion where you can take a rest. The first route is a neat set of stairs that passes another temple on the way up. The second route is a nature trail where you have to do a bit of clambering along the way. Both routes are roughly equal in length and relatively short. I didn’t take the time exactly but it’s around 30 minutes to the pavilion. I recommend going the nature trail up and taking the stairs down, because clambering over uneven terrain is always more difficult when descending.
From the pavilion there’s a single trail heading up to the peak. It’s quite short but most of it is steep enough that you need to do a bit of actual climbing and there are some fixed ropes in place to help you get up. This gives you the feeling of actually climbing a mountain without it being too strenuous. It’s also quite safe as far as proper mountaineering goes. I would say most people, including young kids, should be able to do it. Once you reach the top you can rest and admire the view before heading back down. The trail does actually continue onwards at the peak but a local man told us it’s long and difficult, which we hadn’t planned for so we skipped it. Perhaps one of my readers will give it a try.
Our son is still too small to do any actual hiking so we took him in the carrier the whole way. Carrying the baby like this is few kilos more than the small backpack I would normally bring for this kind of hike but it wasn’t overly heavy. The main thing to keep in mind is that you’re actually carrying a living creature on your back. They tend to complain a lot more than camping gear if you bump it into anything so you need to be extra careful with low branches and such. I think I made one or two small mistakes and my poor son got some leaves in his face but other than that it went really well. Every child has their own personality, but our son seems to really enjoy sitting in the carrier, no matter where I’m going. What I really like about this trail is that I could bring my family and still get some feeling of proper mountaineering. Perhaps not quite as exciting as Wuliaojian but highly recommended none the less. A big thank you to my Google Maps expert wife for finding this place.