The Great Wall National Park is located in the northeastern region of China about 43 miles (70 km) northeast of Beijing. The national park is in development with the initial protected area covering around 23.2 square miles (60 sq km).
Furthermore, the boundaries of the park will follow the Great Wall providing a little over half a mile protection (2 km) on either side of the wall. The Badaling area of the great wall serves as the foundation and most popular part of the national park. It is the most visited part of the wall.
The Great Wall of China extends 5,500 miles (8,850 km) from the Chinese Korean border into the Gobi Desert. Part of the wall, around 1,387 feet (2,232 km), leverages steep hills, and similar natural barriers, whereas another 223 miles (359 km) are accounted for by trenches.
The more impressive physically constructed wall travels a distance of 3,889 miles (6,259 km). Only 2.3 miles (3.74 km) and 19 watchtowers have been restored and open to visitors in the Badaling area. There is a cable car providing an opportunity for seniors and the more physically challenged to experience this marvel of mankind.
The Great Wall of China in the Badaling area reaches an average height of 26 feet (7.8 m) and a width of about 20 feet (6 m). The width across the top of the wall would allow up to five horses or 10 soldiers marching side by side.
The watchtowers of the Great Wall served multiple purposes including observation, housing soldiers, communication, and protected places to shoot arrows.
The Badaling area, where the national park base is, represents the most commonly visited part of the Great Wall of China. This is the place where presidents and other dignitaries are taken to display this marvel of mankind.
Great Wall of China Highlights
The Great Wall of China is without question the pinnacle attraction and highlight of the national park. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and draws visitors from around the world. The good news is that public transportation is available making it easy to access the Great Wall while visiting Beijing.
There are handrails that help traditional travelers ascend the steep stairs. The cable car makes it possible for those who cannot navigate the stairs for whatever reason.
Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is an interaction between manmade walls, steep hills, and other facets of nature that serve as barriers. Together, these facets stretch a total distance of 5,500 miles (8,850 km). The manmade wall is a marvelous achievement that spans 3,889 miles (6,259 km). The majority of the wall is not accessible to visitors.
The part of the wall that is accessible here in the national park only allows a couple of miles (3.74 km) and several watchtowers. The impressive wall is 20 feet ( 6 m) and has a typical height of about 26 feet (7.8 m).
Trails of the Great Wall National Park
The initial walking starts as you make your way through the tourist center and vendors as you approach the wall. Once you reach the wall, the majority of walking will depend on how much of the Great Wall of China you actually want to walk.
Great Wall Loop Trail: this is a moderate rated trail in Badaling which provides a loop that travels a distance of 3.4 miles (5.5 km). The trail provides visitors with a chance to watch for wildlife with birdwatching topping the list as well as views of the Great Wall of China. The trail has about 1,010 feet (308 m) of elevation gain as you navigate the loop.
Beijing Great Wall Highlights
- The Great Wall of China
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- National Geographic, Great Wall of China, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/world-heritage/great-wall-china/, retrieved December 2019.
- Paulson Institute, Too Much Love? Great Wall National Park, Beijing, https://www.paulsoninstitute.org/conservation/conservation-blog/too-much-love-great-wall-national-park-beijing/, retrieved December 2019.
- Travel China Guide, Badaling Great Wall, https://www.travelchinaguide.com/china_great_wall/scene/beijing/badaling.htm, retrieved December 2019.
- UNESCO, The Great Wall, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/438/, retrieved December 2019.