The Green Belt East China Sea Canyon Scenndic Area
舟 山本岛中部是一条28平方公里的绿谷，最高海拔478 米。这一片原生态的山谷丛林也是宁波经舟山跨海大桥上岛后的第一道风景线，海岛著名的古驿道景观廊道贯穿其中。这里有古吉祥寺和宋高宗避难的往事，有新婚女子三日王和复翁堂的悲情传说。 峡谷内水库水系错落蜿蜒，植被树种丰富，是一处负氧离子含量极高的休闲游憩之地。乘坐公园的观光车一路向上慢行至半月潭，因潭形如半月而得名，春季丰水期或大雨过后，瀑布飞流，甚是壮观。路边的丛林里便是群岛唯一的极速滑道的起点。全程约1300米的滑行，可观山林风景，体验飞行乐趣，醉人的森林气息让人忘记自己身边是海。 龙潭位于两条峡谷汇合处，深不见底，常年不涸，状若瑶池，色如碧玉，时有氤氲。舟山关于龙的传说很多，源于过去的舟山人靠天吃水的困境。相传宋高宗曾到舟山避难，次年大旱，民不聊生，乡民持其佩剑在潭中挥舞，见有白龙从潭涧腾空飞向苍穹，所过之处，大雨倾盆。百姓由此深信此潭通向大海，蒙龙王庇佑，遂名“龙潭”。
The only one of its kind in the Zhoushan archipelago, East China Sea Canyon Scenic Area is located in the middle part of the archipelago’s proper and open all year round, with the sprawling Tea Valley and an off-the-beaten-track 14km ancient post road being the central features of the park area. This area is also the first stop of a journey from Ningbo to the archipelago via the sea-spanning bridges. Opened as a national scenic area in 2016 and covering 28 km2, the park is valued by the ‘sea people’ in Dinghai as the best recreational option and weekend getaway. For those who have seen the "Grand Canyon" in Arizona, the 478m elevation of the park may be anything but thrilling. For the locals, however, the area’s unmarred forest ecology is more than enough to overwhelm the senses. Scenery, climate and vegetation here are noticeably different from the rest of Dinghai. Within the park boundaries, there is no need to drive around in traffic.The park’s shuttle sightseeing vehicles available at the main entrance can take you out to scenic overlooks and recreational points.The drive from the main entrance has several overlooks along the way, including Water Square and Tupelo Square, for visitors to take in the engaging view of lush tea fields and orchards, glistening reservoirs and cascading waterfalls.
Tea, turtle, peaches and berries
Scenic charm aside, the park is also an agricultural ‘lab’ that produces the best tea cultivars and island fruits in Dinghai. The Tea Valley that constitutes the centerpiece of the park’s Datanggang area is the sole production site of “Sea Fragrance” – the signature Buddha Tea variety of Zhoushan.The park’s Tea Square is a nic e place to savor the tea’s unique flavour nourished by the balmy oceanic climate and the fertile sub-acid soil about 400 meters above sea level.The harvest season of the tea is a very short period of about three weeks in April. The Tea Valley also serves as a truly organic orchard fruit cornucopia.The ‘honey juicy peach’ grown here ranks among the country’s best. Water Square is the first view most people reach when entering from the main entrance.The rolling green hills and puffy white clouds are reflected on the still body of water. A set of steppingstones leads to a cascading waterfall where the stream spills over the rocks making a beautiful water feature. If you are lucky, you may spot the lucky turtle on his golden throne, waiting patiently to endow visitors with good fortune. When entering the turtle’s house filled with candles and trinkets, his octagonal seat was laid bare, but his guardian quickly whisked him in after a bath and placed him back to be center of attention. The old and wise turtle is patted by visitors for a range of reasons, from excelling in exams to maintaining good health. Surrounded by 10-yuan notes, the income the turtle raises from well-wishers is used to buy fruit.
A variety of activities in the park cater to visitors. A most popular place to begin your ‘park fun’ is the Crescent Moon Pond, where the archipelago’s only Speed Slide starts. Sitting down in a rainbow cart fitted with racing stripes, one feels like they are about to board a roller-coaster, but instead of twisting and turning on tracks situated in the middle of a brightly-decorated theme park, one zooms through the forest feeling the refreshing breeze and inhaling the tea-perfumed air. Leaving the hustle and bustle of the outside world, one feels alone in nature, like Tarzan gliding through the treetops.The ride is designed for those who have the need for speed, and also for those who are looking for a moderately thrilling ride, as the carts have a lever to control the speed. Families can also board together with space to house two people on one cart. The slide ends at a lovely spot near a recreational square, where visitors can take a break on the park benches and tables engulfed in shade under the tree foliage, while listening to the calming sound of water trickling down a stream. A large cart-racing track sits beside the square, for the energetic visitors who would like to resume their thrill-seeking activities. Alternatively there is the option to walk along a trail beside the tea-bushes under the pleasant tree shade. The walk down to the entrance area ensures a refreshing, relaxed finale to a day-trip in the park. Hikes can begin almost anywhere along this trail, and a shuttle can return hikers to their point of origin.
The locals’ long-time struggle with the scarcity of freshwater resources in the old times of Zhoushan produced many tales and legends about ‘dragons’. It is believed that when Emperor Gaozong of the Southern Song Dynasty sought refuge in Zhoushan the locals were suffering from a severe drought.The villagers wielded the emperor’s sword towards a pond and saw a white dragon rise high into the sky from the gully, bringing downpour wherever it passed by.The pond has since been believed to be a rainmaker, hence the name ‘Dragon Spring’. The park is open all year round for various other activities such as backcountry camping, weddings, commercial tours, filming, scientific research and special parent-children events, although permits are required for some of them.