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near Shannancun, Jilin (China)
Also translated as "Watching Swans from a Distance". This park is very popular in the autumn when leaves are in color. In this aspect it compares to Gatineau, Quebec or the Northern US Appalachians. The track distance included a shuttle bus from the ticket gate to the start of the trails. The entire walking round trip on the trails might be 5 to 7 km.
The Park can be accessed by driving north along the Yalu River from the small city of Baishan in SE Jilin Province, a scenic drive along the North Korea border. Alternate access is along more remote routes from the North. Security checkpoints may be expected on the access roads near the border area, where delays may occur for foreigners. For this reason, and because most speak local Dongbei dialect, it is suggested that Foreigners should travel with supportive Mandarin speaking China Nationals. The usual mapping sources (Apple, Open Street/cycle) won't load in this part of China, possibly due to current security concerns. However, track recording in the area can utilize the free Wikiloc Jilin Province Map download.
This track only covers approx half of the main walking trail, which follows a linear canyon. It includes notable columnar basalt formations of geological interest, a pristine small river, and waterfalls entering the canyon from both north and south sides.
As for all China attractions, a fee is charged (100 Renminbi, approx $10 US). This includes access from the parking area to the start of the walking trail in small open buses.
Track recorded in Early October, 2019.
Parking can be crowded in autumn, so there may be a lineup to even get to the parking area. This line moved quickly on the day so the delay was less than 15 minutes.
The entrance it at the far end of the parking lot and tickets are bought in a separate building to the right side of the parking lot. Visitors over 65 are free, including foreigner visitors.
Enter here after buying tickets. Tickets are purchased in the other large building at the side of the parking lot.
Behind the entrance there are small open buses that take visitors to the start of the walking trail network (included in entrance fee).
Disembark mini-bus at the start of the trails. A rest station and small shop here.
Good examples of the red-leafed autumn maples forming a sparse sub-canopy beneath the taller species. This is one of the classic autumn attraction of the area. Another sought after sight is the white birch trees of the general area.
The red maple leaves have started to fall in light wind and they flutter down onto the far bank and into the river.
This water fall can be noticed from the main path, and can also be accessed along a smaller boardwalk path leading to the base of the falls.
After a short burst of heavy rain the waterfalls are full and the small stream flowing down to the main path is overflowing its banks. The falls can be faintly seen through the trees from the main path. A narrow boardwalk leads to the base of the falls. There are three falls of different sizes, side-by-side over 22 meters, the middle being the largest.
A great example of this geological phenomenon. Each column is a six sided prism.
A small stream enters from the west side of the canyon and tumbles directly into a pool. Here a flat-lying columnar basalt flow is overlain by pillow basalt.
The columnar basalt is folded by tectonic forces into a fan-shaped formation. Each column is a six-sided prism.
This track turns back here, approx half-way along the trail network. There is a rest station and a hat-raincoat shop.
After starting back, the track crosses an arched bridge and follows a smaller boardwalk along the west bank of the river.