Top 3 Fun Spring Activities to Do in Nanjing: Mountain Hiking

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No matter what interests you, be it the picturesque scenery or blooming flowers, spring is definitely a fantastic time for adventures in mountains. The ancient capital Nanjing boasts striking natural beauty especially in spring. Here are 7 destinations that you must visit if you are a true lover of mountain climbing.

  • Plum Blossom Hill: Welcome to the world of plum blossoms
  • Qixia Mountain: Indulge in rich historical and cultural relics
  • Niushou Mountain: An immersive Buddhist cultural experience in nature
  • Laoshan National Forest Park: A natural oxygen bar with stunning scenery
  • Purple Mountain: Get a bird’s eye view of Nanjing from its top
  • Wuxiang Mountain : A tour of tranquility and serene beauty
  • Qingliang Hill: Ideal for spring walk and flower viewing

Plum Blossom Hill

Plum Blossom Hill, located within the Ming Tombs Scenic Area, ranks top among plum mountains in China. The best time to pay a visit is February or March, when the Nanjing International Plum Blossom Festival is held. The planting of plum trees started in Nanjing during the Six Dynasties more than 1,500 years ago. With a planting area of more than 1,533 mu, today’s Plum Blossom Hill has more than 35,000 plum trees in 360 varieties and has over 6,000 potted plums.

On warm spring days, when plum blossoms are in full bloom, it can be pleasant to breathe in the delicious scent of tens of thousands of flowers and soak in this floral sea of beauty. The grand spectacle of plum blossoms will surely surprise you.

Pic. 1: Plum Blossom Hill

Address: Ming Tombs Scenic Area, Zhongshan Mountain National Park, Xuanwu District, Nanjing

Tickets: RMB 70 (admission ticket required for visiting Ming Tombs Scenic Area)

Opening hours: 06:30-18:00 (November-February); 06:30-18:00 (March – October)

Best time to visit: Late February- Early March

Public transport guide:

Metro Line 2/Exit 1 at Muxuyuan Station

Nanjing City Tour Bus / Ming Tombs Station (Plumb Blossom Valley Parking Lot)

Bus No. 20, 315 / Ming Tombs Station

Tel:

Hotline: +86 25 84431174

Ticket: +86 25 84437786

Helpline: +86 25 84442880

Website: http://kehu.71nc.cn/zsl/new/

Qixia Mountain

Located in the middle of Qixia District of Nanjing, Qixia Mountain is prized for beautiful scenery and cultural heritage. There is a saying, “One Qixia Mountain is a half of Jinling’s (Nanjing’s ancient name) history.” There are more than 80 historical sites with profound culture meanings, covering religion, imperial glory, green culture, celebrity and local customs, natural terrain, stone carvings and tea culture.

Qixia Mountain is a fantastic hiking option in spring, when the lush hill, beautiful bird songs and seasonal flowers remind every visitor of the awakening of nature. Hike through the forests and along trails that lead you all the way to its historic wonders. One of the most well-known is the Qixia Temple nestled at the western foot of the mountain. Tucked inside the green hills and surrounded with black tiles, the thousand-year-old temple looks even more enthralling in spring, when peach blossoms are in full bloom. Or just climb to the top for the stunning 360-degree views in the distance, the ships sailing on the Yangtze River, the hidden oasis in the misty clouds and the vast waters setting out eastward for the boundless skies.

Pic. 2: Qixia Mountain

Address: No. 88 Qixia Street, Qixia District, Nanjing

Tickets: RMB 25 (off season), RMB 40 (peak season)

Bus routes:

  • Bus No.138 (Sun City - Qixia)/Qixia Station
  • Bus No. 206 (Nanjing Railway Station North Square East - Qixia)/Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 743 (Jiangning Passenger Station - Shangba)/Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 197 (Sheshan New Town - Yaohua Gate)/Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 194 (Longtan - Qixia)/Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 195 (Longchang Temple - Qixia)/Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 207 (Nanjing Railway Station North Square East -Shangba)/Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 326 (Jingtian Road - Qixia) / Qixia Temple Station
  • Bus No. 327 (Sheshan New Town - Qixia) / Qixia Temple Station
  • Metro Line 1/Nanjing Railway Station -> Transfer to Bus No. 206 at the north square/Qixia Temple Station
  • Metro Line 2/Xueze Road Station -> Transfer to Bus No. 138/Qixia Station
  • Metro Line 3/Nanjing Forestry University Station or Xinzhuang Station -> Transfer to Bus No. 206/Qixia Temple Station

Tel.: +86 25 85766979

Website: http://www.njqxs.net/English/

Niushou Mountain

Niushou Mountain, literally Ox Head Mountain, is located in Jiangning District, Nanjing. As the birthplace of Niutou sect of Chinese Zen Buddhism, it is known for Buddhist cultural heritage. Visitors may follow the traces of history at the time-honored Hongjue temple and pagoda, Zheng He’s Tomb and the Base of the Anti-Jin general Yue Fei.

Apart from the cultural importance, the natural scenery of Niushou Mountain is impressive as well. Seeing quite a lot of springs, pools, natural stones, caves and pavilions that spread across a broad, secluded valley, you can get the answer to why it attracts so many tourists.

When spring comes, the Nanjing Friendship Cherry Blossom Garden in Niushou Mountain becomes a new choice for cherry blossom viewing. Tens of thousands of cherry trees are planted in the park, including early cherry, late cherry, mountain cherry, Yoshino cherry and Prunus verecunda varieties. The annual flowering period is approximately 45 days, and spring is the best time for every visitor to savor the year’s fascinating beauty of cherry blossom.

Niushou Mountain has been long one of the most visited sites. With the profuse carpet of flowers and magpies’ notes ringing down the mountain, it is just so perfect for a romantic getaway.

Pic 3/4: Niushou Mountain

Address: No.18, Ningdan Avenue, Jiangning District

Tickets: 98 RMB

Opening hours: 08:00-17:00

Tel: 400-165-6363

Public transport guide:

Metro Line 3/Tianyuan West Road Station/Exit 3 -> Transfer to Bus No.G70/Niushou Mountain Scenic Area East Station -> Walk about 2km.

Metro Line 1/Tianlong Temple Station/Exit 2 -> Transfer to Bus No. 712/755/Niushou Mountain Scenic Area Station-> Walk about 2km.

Self-driving route: Beltway-Ningdan Road-Niushou Mountain Scenic Area or Beltway-Airport highway-General Avenue-Focheng West Road-Niushou Mountain Scenic Area

Website: http://eng.niushoushan.net/

Laoshan National Forest Park

Laoshan National Forest Park is located in Pukou District of Nanjing. The area is covered mostly by forest and is home to many egrets and herons. Commonly known as the “green lungs of Nanjing and shining pearl of Jiangbei”, Laoshan Mountain has long been celebrated as a natural wonder featuring forests, springs, rocks and caves. The scenic spot is endowed with rich negative oxygen ions, making it a unique natural relaxation oxygen bar.

Being in nature, breathing fresh air, reveling in beautiful scenery along the stone paths...You have every reason to hike in Laoshan Mountain! And don’t miss the exciting grass skiing with your little ones too!

Pic. 5: Laoshan National Forest Park

Address: Huangshanling Road, Pukou District, Nanjing

Tickets: 30 RMB

Opening hours: 08:00-17:30

Metro route: Line 1/Andesmen Station (Line 2/Yuantong Station) -> Transfer to Metro Line 10/Longhua Road Station -> Transfer to Bus No. 608 -> Laoshan National Forest Park

Bus route: Take Bus No. D7 at Jiangdong Wanda Plaza -> Park South Road -> Transfer to Bus No. 608, 611 -> Laoshan National Forest Park

Self-driving route: Weiqi Road Crossing-river Tunnel -> Ning-Chu Expressway -> Huangshanling Road -> Laoshan National Forest Park

Tel: +86 25 58112708

Purple Mountain

Purple Mountain, also known as Zhongshan Mountain or Shenlie Mountain, is a national forest park with a forest area of more than 30,000 mu, making it the green lung of Nanjing. One simply cannot visit Nanjing without visiting Purple Mountain, where many ancient historical sites and natural attractions are found. In spring, the rolling green fields from the foothills and mountains and ear-pleasing bird songs make Purple Mountain a worthy visit. Take some time to start your tour on a sunny spring day. Head up Purple Mountain to explore so much fun here. You can stroll, ride or run on the greenway, or climb up to the top to get a panoramic view of Nanjing, or visit the Purple Mountain Observatory, a great place to learn about technology and science.

Purple Mountain Greenway: A 29.9-kilometer-long greenway running around Purple Mountain from No. 49 Bancang Street is a popular location for joggers, hikers and cyclists. They can enjoy the spectacular views of a lake, outdoor pavilion, ancient temple, flowers and green plants along different routes.

Toutuo Ridge (the main peak of the Purple Mounta, also the highest peak in Nanjing): Climb all the way up to Toutuo Ridge along the winding trail, from which one can capture a breathtaking view of the city. It also provides marvelous sunrise views, or majestic views with bright stars and bright moon if you’re up for a night hike.

Purple Mountain Observatory: Purple Mountain Observatory is the first modern astronomy research institute to be established by Chinese scientists. It is one of the first batch of China’s top ten science and technology tourism bases, and also an important base for scientific research and popular science education. The hustle and bustle days are long gone when you immerse yourself in the tranquil observatory on a sunny afternoon. Standing on the top of a well maintained relic called Tianbao, one can embrace loads of attractions to the east, from Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum to Ming Xiaoling Tombs, Meiling Palace and Linggu Pagoda; when looking to the west, Xuanwu Lake, Ming City Wall, Jiming Temple and Yangtze River are found scattered in the city.

Pic. 6: Purple Mountain Observatory

The Purple Mountain Cableway starts from Dibao City Station and stops at the Purple Mountain Observatory Station along the way to reach the end of Toutuo Ridge Station. With a total length of 2,139 meters, the cableway can carry up to 52 carriages of travelers within about 9-15 minutes for a one-way ride.

Address: Purple Mountain Cableway Ticket Office, No.2 West Beijing Road, Gulou District, Nanjing

Bus routes: Bus No. 20,315/ Purple Mountain Cableway Station

Cableway Tickets: Free for Summit Park; 60 RMB (one-way); 100 RMB (round trip)

Tel: +86 21 85425542

Tips: Please take hike and bike greenway trails when necessary and protect the environment of the scenic area.

Wuxiang Mountain

Located in central Lishui District of Nanjing, the Wuxiang Mountain National Forest Park is an excellent resort for leisure tours and outdoor sports.

When everything in the undulating mountains wakes up in spring, we can see buds and then tender leaves appear on the trees, and the sprightly shade pop up everywhere. Green is all around us, and it feels so good to hike along the picturesque trails in the forests and the Wuxiang Lake. The stone paths or scaling stone stairs can also lead tourists to the historic Wuxiang Temple. With chirping birds and buzzing insects as your company in the wild nature, you will be rewarded with the tranquility of mind.

Pic. 7: Wuxiang Mountain

Address: Wuxiang Mountain, Honglan Town, Lishui District, Nanjing

Tickets: 10 RMB

Opening hours: 09:00-17:00

Public transport guide: Metro Line S7/Lishui Station/Exit 5 -> Walk 249 meters-> Transfer to Lishui Tour Bus No.1/Wuxiang Temple Station

Self-driving routes:

Nanjing-Xuancheng Expressway direction: Tiansheng Bridge Exit -> Tiansheng Bridge Avenue -> Pearl South Road -> Wuxiang Mountain Scenic Area

Nanjing-Hangzhou Expressway direction: Lishui East Exit -> East Traffic Road -> S246 Provincial Highway -> Wuxiang Mountain Avenue -> Wuxiang Mountain Scenic Area

Consultation: +86 25 56205199

Rescue: +86 25 56211017

Website: http://njwxs.njlszw.cn/index/en/index.shtml

Qingliang Hill

In spring days, a tour of Qingliang Hill can add vibrancy to your life with lush greenery, elegant courtyards and bloomed flowers. The sky is blue and the sweet smell of flowers wafts across the cool spring breeze. Out in the fresh air, connecting to the purest natural world, embracing the beauty in the forests...This is indeed a joyful journey to hikers.

Antique temple, pavilions, slopes and courtyards along the paths will also offer you unforgettable memories. The most worthy of a visit is the Chongzheng Academy built on the mountain. Its elegant design and secluded setting are typically found in landscaped gardens in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Pic. 8/9: Qingliang Hill

Address: No.83 Qingliangshan Road, Gulou District, Nanjing

Tickets: Free (Chongzheng Academy is closed on Mondays)

Opening hours: 06:00 - 18:00

Tel: +86 25 83736861

Bus route: Take Bus No. 6/20/43/60/160/317/502/532/552/D15/Y6 and get off at Qingliang Hill Park Station

Website: http://www.njqlsgy.com/en/