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 marking 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.
Trails of the Great Wall National Park
The Great Wall at Badaling provides a loop trail 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.
Apart from that, it is a chance for walking or hiking in nature and the outdoors while capturing different 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.