Hiking while learning nature on picture-perfect Mt. Maluan

Writer: Cao Zhen  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-03-24

                         A hiker on Maluan Mountain. Photos from WeChat account "walkingpingshan" unless otherwise stated

One of the most relaxing and rewarding spring experiences comes from hiking. Maluan Mountain (马峦山) in Pingshan District is renowned for its large waterfalls, old Hakka villages, breathtaking natural scenery and thousands of species.

Since it’s a vast mountain, whether you are looking for a multi-hour trek or an unhurried wander in the woods, several trails offer you different adventures and provide encounters with different landscapes.

While hiking on Maluan Mountain, you might come across various flowers, birds and insects.

Mucuna Trail 禾雀花步道

March and April are the best times to admire birdwood’s mucuna flowers. With distinctive curved petals, it is one of the most beautiful wild flowers in Pingshan District. The 6.5-km-long Mucuna Trail from Huangzhukeng Village (黄竹坑村) in the north of the mountain park to the Gengzi First Uprising Old Site (庚子首义旧址) is a route with the most abundant wild birdwood’s mucuna flowers in Pingshan.

Along the trail, there are 10 spots to view the flowers, which have been decorating this land for tens of thousands of years, being an indispensable part of the ecosystem. You will also pass by Lanheqiao Reservoir Waterfall (榄核桥水库瀑布) and the Shangxiadu Reservoir (上下肚水库).

Birdwood’s mucuna flowers on Maluan Mountain.Yan Wenting

The Shangxiadu Reservoir looks like a green gem.

Biling Waterfall Trail 碧岭瀑布群步道

Summer is the best season to see large waterfalls and you’d best head to Biling Valley in the west part of the mountain, where the waterfalls are various in cascades forms. Hiking along the 3.05-km-long Biling Waterfall Trail that is covered in green shade, you can see the continuous mountain range and a variety of geologic features formed by streams. In the dense forest, there is also a myriad of creatures, including rarely seen birds.

Waterfalls on Maluan Mountain.

Honghualing Local Flora Hiking Trail 红花岭乡土植物步道

In the heart of Maluan Mountain and north of the Gengzi First Uprising Old Site, the 6-km-long Honghualing Local Flora Hiking Trail stretches through the well-preserved south subtropical low-elevation monsoon evergreen broad-leafed forest in Shenzhen. In the forest, you may encounter majestic trees that are over 100 years old. This hiking trail is a collection of numerous natural lives and an excellent place to learn about local plants in the lauraceae (樟科), mulberry (桑科), spurge (大戟科), fagaceae (壳斗科) and myrtle (桃金娘科) families.

An aerial view of a section of Honghualing Local Flora Hiking Trail.

Pingshan-Yantian Plum Trail 坪盐赏梅步道

It’s not the season to admire plum blossoms but you can visit old Guangbei Village (光背村) and Laowei Village (老围村) on the west side of the Pingshan-Yantian Plum Trail. Relaxing at the Plum Pavilion (梅亭), one can not only appreciate the forest on the Maluan Mountain but also view Qiniang Mountain and the Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches in the distance. When winter comes, you can stroll along the 9-km-long trail to enjoy 50 hectares of the elegant white and pink plum flowers.

The Plum Pavilion.

A scene along Pingshan-Yantian Plum Trail.

Maluan Mountain Field Note Trail 马峦山自然笔记步道

Maluan Mountain is acclaimed as Pingshan’s treasure trove of natural species. Discover the kid-friendly Maluan Mountain Field Note Trail for your next family trip and you and your children will learn new ways to cohabitate with nature. The route starts from the north entrance of the park and then stretches southward for 2.5 kilometers. Along the way, children can learn about a variety of fungi, insects, fish, birds, mammals and endangered wild plants from posted descriptions.

A child and a parent read descriptions on Maluan Mountain.

A fulvous forest skimmer, a species of dragonfly.

A blue whistling thrush, known for its loud human-like whistling song.

The spoon-leaved sundew.

The amanita oberwinklerana, a species of fungi.

The well-preserved Maluan Mountain is like a museum created by nature with earth, forests, streams and creatures. Many trails were made without machinery or cement. The stones and wood used on the trail were from the mountain rocks and nearby fallen trees.

A hand-made trail on Maluan Mountain. Stones and wood used on the trail were from the mountain rocks and fallen trees.

An old village on Maluan Mountain.

The above trails are part of the Walking Pingshan system which consists of a total of 106 kilometers of trails in Pingshan, covering rivers, mountains, parks and wetlands, for hikers to learn about and commune with nature. 

Metro: Line 14 to Jinlong Station (锦龙站), Exit D and then take buses 366, 833, B760 or M546