Since the start of the year, the Trails China team has been working on a very exciting new project in the heart of China’s Hunan province.
The impact a trail can have is huge: the benefits to the local community; the life long memories for those who challenge themselves to long journeys in unknown places. A trail has the power to make real, meaningful change. It’s the reason our team do what we do, and the reason we’re so excited to share with you a brand new trail in just a few months.
If any of you follow Leon or David on Instagram, you may have already seen some previews of what to expect. Across 3 separate visits between January and May, the team have researched, explored, engaged with the community and thoroughly planned with the help of the local government in Xupu County, Hunan. There are just a few more stages to go until this brand-new trail in one of China’s most profound and beautiful provinces is ready to open to the world.
The area is well know in Hunan and across China. Its attraction is not in towering peaks or jagged cliffs, but in its poetry; the rolling layers, the deep, rich greens of the forest, the winter fog and the summer skies. The places that really hold a place in people’s heart through the years do so because they offer more than breath-taking views- they also contain within them stories that speak to the core of human nature, and transcend our own temporal limitations. This is what makes the Xuefeng Mountains such a special place for a trail; the palpable connection between the landscape and the layers of histories, lives and stories that have been before. Our team takes pride in rooting each leg of a trail in this connection, and we’re so excited to share this area with you.
Qu Yuan, a nobleman, politician and poet during China’s Warring States period (475-221 BCE) is a heroic figure in Chinese culture, and some of his most famous work was inspired by and in the Xuefeng Mountains. Have a look at our blog about the great man. The trail also includes sections of the Ancient Tea Horse Road, China’s legendary main inland road since the Warring States Period. This area of Hunan is also home to the Huayao and Yao minorities, and we’re sure your interactions with these warm, kind hearted and colourful people, as well as the generosity of all the locals you meet, will make this trail one of the greatest in the world.
We’re just a few months away from launching this incredibly exciting project. Make sure you keep an eye on our socials as we bring you more details and pictures from the route over the next few months.