Paradise of Red Leaves in Shandong Stone Gate Lane
Stone Gate Lane is situated in the entrance of southwestern mountains of Linqu county, Shandong province, with a long history of over 3000 years since Yin and Shang periods. There are two steep peaks lying besides it, like two stone gates staring at each other.
The high cliffs and peaks are often shrouded in clouds and mist here, with endless green woods and giant rocks with different shapes. When it autumn comes, it becomes a whole new world, yellow and red leaves decorating the mountain from all over, layer by layer. Every year before and after the Double Nine Festival, numerous tourists come here to enjoy the unique beautiful autumn scenery.
The most famous spot of Stone Gate Lane is the Eight Holes that are formed from ages of corrosion of water, Dragon Hole,Three-round Hole, Immortals Hole, Hang-in-the-sky Hole, Heaven worship Hole, Stop-by Hole and Monks Expecting Hole. Each hole has different shapes and features. Among those, Dragon Hole is the most dangerous one.
As the story goes, Stone Gate Lane was the secret treasure hiding spot of the God of Wealth in Heaven, those treasures are meant to reward people that like doing good deed in early world. Anyone that has ten boys and never does evil things could open the stone gate and find treasures. I wasn’t a firm believer of such story, but the place does feel quite mysterious and heavenly.
Whether you are here for some peace of mind or are just here looking for beautiful signs of autumn, you are in the right place. Taking a walk in the woods is a quite an experience. The red,yellow, orange and brown leaves crunch underfoot. The autumn in Stone Gate is so peaceful and cozy that it is difficult to be anything but happy there.
In addition to lavishing natural sceneries, it also has many famous cultural landscape. Fenggong Temple has a history of more 3000 years, which was built in memory of a great general in Yin and Shang Period. Under the left side of the temple, there are two ancient well-preserved stone towers. Both were built in Ming Dynasty.
On the massive stone walls of stiff mountain from the east side of Temple, there are two chinese character carved from Qing dynasty-“Late Shining”. Because of the unique shape of the mountain, sun ray could only shine through the trees as the sun set, like a bright mirror hanging on the mountain rock, very majestically. Under the “Late Shining”cliff, there is clear stream water forming into a small pond. When the late sunset shining through, it reflects the words on the water, feeling so heavenly! I wait in there to see this amazing view and it’s totally worth it. Never get tired of admiring wonder of nature!
There were apples tree, persimmon trees and hawthorn trees scattered on the mountain side. Red and green apple, orange persimmon and crimson hawthorn fruits, forming a colorful map with nice fruit fragrance.