Hiking the Countryside of Chengdu- 1 Day
Baita Lake is an artificial lake located 50km west to the city of Chengdu and a place with low mountains and with well-marked trails. This hiking provides a medium pace walk through the villages of Chengdu countryside and many orchards and farmlands. It’s not a tourist place but the countryside of Chengdu. The walking is on small trails and sometimes on country small roads with small ups and downs.
Baita Lake is located 50km west to the city center of Chengdu. By driving it takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to get to. Public transport is not available directly there although one can use public transfer to Chongzhou first and then from Chongzhou hire a local car to get to Baita Lake but it is usually recommended to hire a car from Chengdu and to have a guided hiking there because there are many splits of trails and it can be very confusing.
The hiking starts from Baita Monastery, a monastery gets its name from the White Tower (in Chinese called Baita) and also the lake shares the same name from the monastery. The hiking trail was made intentionally by local government to encourage people to walk more. Some sections of the hiking overlap with local country road but you don’t have to worry there be many cars because there are usually not many cars on these country roads. There is about one third of the hiking will be on paved road and the rest be on paths. The paths are marked and paved with small rocks sometimes. Even though there are marks and signs to show you where you are but it is still very confusing to navigate on your own if you are there first time. It took us more than 3 times to have a full picture/memory of these splits and intersections of trails of Baita Lake. There are no dangerous parts of any paths at Baita Lake although you want to avoid summer time (June to September) if possible because these trails are unattended and in the monsoon seasons the grass grow crazy and some sections can be covered with plants with annoying stingers. There is no altitude problem of this hiking. The altitude gain and loss will be normally within 200m and the highest elevation is no more than 1200m. The hiking itself is a loop and you don’t walk the same trail twice.
The total walking distance is 16km although there is a shorter route that is only 12km and there is also a longer route that is about 20km. It usually takes about 5-6 hours in total for the hiking. Baita Lake is not a tourist place at all but at certain villages and locations there maybe people fishing especially near the lake.