New hiking route opens to visitors on Mount Tai
Visitors have a new option to climb Mount Tai, which is a mountain with historical and cultural significance located north of Tai'an in East China's Shandong province, as the Eastern Imperial Road was recently opened to the public on April 26, local media reported.
As a very popular tourist site, Mount Tai is one of the "Five Great Mountains" in China. It is associated with the sunrise, birth and renewal, and is often regarded as the best of the five. It has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centers in China during large portions of this period.
There were technically four routes to choose from for climbing to the top of Mount Tai, and two of the options involve utilizing transport options such as bus and cable car. The other two routes are hiking trails.
The Eastern Imperial Road is the fifth tourist route and the third hiking road to the summit of the mountain. Located at the east foot of Mount Tai, it starts from Shangliyuan village, passes through Dazhigou in the west, which is where Zhongtianmen (or Middle Heaven Gate) is located, and joins Zhonglu Dengtian Road.
The Eastern Imperial Road received its name because Emperor Liu Che in the Han Dynasty was said to ride horses along the road to reach the summit of the mountain. Liu visited Mount Tai for eight times during his lifetime to hold grand "Fengshan" ceremonies, which were conducted to offer sacrifices to heaven.
The entire journey of the Eastern Imperial Road is about five kilometers with over 4,000 steps.
The starting point of the Eastern Imperial Road hiking trail on Mount Tai in Tai'an. [Photo/Tai'an Daily]