The period from mid-October to mid-November is widely acknowledged to be the most pleasant season in Beijing, with a temperate climate that’s ideal for heading into the nature for a stroll among the trees, and feasting your eyes on the spectacular autumn hues.
Forget about the tourist-jammed Fragrant Hills, and check out our selection of several lesser-known forest parks located in the suburbs of Beijing, for some outdoor family fun.
Baiwang Mountain Forest Park
Located 3 kilometers from the Summer Palace, Baiwang Mountain is probably the best alternative to Fragrant Hills for its convenient location. Being heavily forested, the park is described as a “natural oxygen bar”, and is lush with an abundance of deciduous trees, which turns it into a sea of red leaves in autumn. Also, with a mellow elevation of 220m, trekking to Baiwang Mountain posts less challenge for a family trip with little ones.
6am-7pm daily, RMB 6 for entrance. No.19 Heishanhu Beikou, Haidian district 百望山森林公园 (海淀区黑山扈北口19号)
Located 55 km from the downtown area, Miaofeng Mountain is home to an ancient temple complex consisting of 14 temples, and is especially well-known for the annual temple fair lasting for 15 days, a tradition which has been passed down since the Chongzhen Period of the Qing Dynasty (1627-1644). Over 95 percent of the mountain is forested, with a rose garden covering more than 60 hectares.
8am-5pm daily. RMB 40 for entrance. No.002 County Railway, Mentougou district 妙峰山 门头沟区002县道
Home to the thousand-year-old Hongluo Temple, Shengquan Mountain is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Lying east of Mutianyu Great Wall, next to Yanshan Mountain and Shahe River, the 15-square-kilometer Shengquan Mountain attracts visitors not only for its Buddhist cultural heritage, but also for the magnificent natural scenery. Restaurants at the foot of the mountain serving fall-themed local delicacies are a highlight of any visit there.
8am-5.30pm. RMB 35. 50 meter North to Huaihuang Railway, Huairou district 圣泉山 山野公园 (怀柔区怀黄公路北50米)