With the crispness of Autumn finally in the air, now’s the best time to head outdoors and embrace all the natural goodness Shanghai and its surrounding areas have to offer. Shanghai may be known as a pulsating city with a thriving nightlife, dining and shopping scene, but what many may not know is that the city is also home to numerous forest parks. If it’s respite from the urban jungle that you need, consider heading to one of the following parks.
1) Sheshan National Forest Park View In Map
Sheshan National Forest Park is located in Songjiang District in the southwest of the city. The park features no less than 12 mountain peaks, meaning this a great place to explore if you’re an avid hiker. Interestingly, Sheshan actually became famous in the 1940s as a prominent place of worship among the Catholic community. The Sheshan Cathedral, which still stands today, was completed in 1935 and ordained by Pope Pius XII in 1942. The site is presently the only active pilgrimage site for Roman Catholics in China.
However, if it’s nature you’re interested in rather than religion, the West Sheshan Park section is said to be the most stunning part in terms of natural beauty, while the eastern part is home to over 5000 birds, of which ten species are nationally protected.
Add: Sheshan Township, Songjiang District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5765 1666
Opening hours: 8:00-17:00
Getting there: take line 9 to Sheshan station (exit 1), and then take the 92 bus in the direction of Sheshan Bus Station to Zhaoyuan Lu stop. From there walk approximately 450 meters to Sheshan National Forest Park
2) Binjiang Forest ParkView In Map
Binjiang Forest Park opened to the public in March 2007 and has quickly become a popular weekend spot for locals to retreat from the city. Located on the convergence of the Huangpu River, Yangtze River and East China Sea, 120 out of 300 hectares are currently open, giving visitors more than enough leg room to embrace the park’s various areas. 90% of the park is covered in trees, but visitors will also find a quaint magnolia park, a garden full of begonias and cherry blossom trees as well as a rare wet botanical garden hidden inside. There are also plenty of entertainment options for the kids, including bumper cars, peddle boats, tandem bikes, tour buses and more.
Add: No.3 Lingqiaogao Beach, Gaoqiao Township, Huangpu New District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5864 4791
Price: 20 RMB
Opening hours: 08:00-17:30 (Mar 1- Oct 31); 08:00-17:00 (Nov 1- Feb 29)
Getting there: take line 6 to Gangcheng Road station (exit 2); from there take the No.1 Waigaoqiao bus to Binjiang Gongyuan stop. Alteratively, hire a cab driver to take you from the station to the park
3) Wusong Battery Wetland Forest ParkView In Map
This wetland park located in Baoshan District was formerly an industrial and military area before being converted into a scenic park. The park covers 53.46 hectares and shares a 1974 meter long waterfront with the Yangtze River. The park is a popular destination for kite flying, picnics and other outdoor activities. There’s also a small amusement area suitable for kids over the ages of three. However, those seeking solitude and silence are also catered for: the park has numerous quiet spaces fortified by dense vegetation.
Add: 206 Tanghou Lu, Baoshan District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5657 9007
Price: 10 RMB
Opening hours: 05:00-late
Getting there: take line 3 to Shuichan Road station (exit 2) and then transfer to the No11 Baoshan bus to Tanghou Lu-Shuangcheng Lu stop. The park is a 230 meter walk from the bus stop
4) Gongqing Forest ParkView In Map
Situated in Yangpu District, this park is incredibly popular with those craving a proper forest and large green spaces. There’s no shortage of plant life at Gongqing Forest Park, with over 200,000 trees and 200 different tree types. It’s also an ideal spot for kite flying, bringing your own picnic, outdoor BBQ and pedal boating. If that’s not exciting enough, visitors can also ride a rollercoaster, have a go at airgun rifle shooting, paintballing and go karting.
Add: 2000Jungong Lu, Yangpu District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6557 1088/6574 0586
Price: 15 RMB
Opening hours: 6:00-17:00
Getting there: take bus No. 102, 124, 147 or 325 to Senlinyuan stop; alternatively take line 8 north to Shiguang Lu and then hop into a cab. The ride should cost around 12 RMB.
5) Donping National Forest Park View In Map
This park is located on the Chongming Island, China’s third largest island. With a land mass of 3.55 km, the park boasts 90% forest coverage and is currently the largest man-made forest in eastern China. Its clean, crisp air and cool year-round temperatures makes Dongping National Forest Park a popular destination for escaping Shanghai’s smothering summer heat – the average temperature from March to November is a pleasant 18.6 degrees Celsius.
The park is also home to a 500 square meter large waterpark, a restaurant specializing in local delicacies, a camp site, an area full of hammocks and a very large beach. Dongping park also offers activities such as rock climbing, golf, paint-balling, go-karting and horse riding – more than enough options to keep you entertained should the walk through the forest not be exciting enough.
Add: Beiyan Gonglu, Chongming County, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5933 8028/5933 8379
Price: 70 RMB
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 08:30-16:30; Weekends and holidays, 08:30-17:00
Getting there: take subway line 1 to Wenshui Lu station; from there take the Shenchong Sanxian line to Chongming Nanmen. Once there, change again to the Southeastern or Nanjiang line and get off at Dongping National Forest Park stop
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Keywords: Shanghai forest parks Gongqing forest park Dongping forest park
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