Shennongjia National Forest Park, consisting of the Swallow Attraction and the Ancient Rhinoceros Hole Attraction, is a primitive ecological tourist area. Travelers can enjoy the combination of pristine mountain forests with legends and culture and different local customs. This primitive yet mysterious destination will provide fun around corner. It is a good place to develop ecological travel because of the clean air and quite environment
The Swallow Ya, 2200 meters in altitude, is lying against Tianmenya and neighbors with the black bamboo river valley at the bottom. In the west of the pass, there is some architectures on the half of the cliff, such as the Dating Bridge with Supernatural, Platform for Sightseeing and the Dancing Swallow Pavilion. So runs the story that the Dating Bridge with Supernatural is a place where Yan Emperor (Shennongshi) dated with the Most High (Tai Shang Lao Jun, a supernatural of chinese fame) and Shennongshi persuaded the Most High to change the stove for making pills of immortals into furnace. There are some charming pines and cypresses at the either end of bridge. Under the bridge, there is an area of primitive forest with attractive scenery.
Walking along the alley, then to the Dancing Swallow Pavilion, you can enjoy yourself with the magnificent scenery of cloud sea and glory sunshine here.
1000 meters to the northeast of swallow pass; there is a well-known Swallow Hole in the middle part of cliff, which is available by walking 50 meters along the slope..
There are many Golden Swallows with short mouth, about 12cm in length living in the hole, which is 14 meters in height, 16 meters in width, and 3700 meters in length. Though a large number of Golden Swallows live in the hole, they don’t barge against each other when flying in or out of the hole. They live in Shennongjia for the whole year. The favorable environment of Shennongjia is a crucial factor for them to lose the customary migratory feature of “fly to south and migrate north”. The hole is warm in winter and cool in summer with murmuring stream. The wall of hole is very clean and dry and many swallow nests are hanging on the dry wall of hole.
Looking back the hole at the stone bridge pavilion, you could see a flock of swallows flying in the sky. It is splendid that the swallow groups fly toward the sunshine when it is sunny.
Walk about 2 kilometers to the south from the Swallow Ya, you will reach Tianmenya, which is about 2328 meters in altitude. The peaks on both sides raise above the ground with the relative height of 80 meters. And a mountain gap about 100 meters wide from north to south. Songxing Road passes the east end of mountain gap. At the west end, the rocks stand grandly decorated with pine and cypress.
Standing at the bealock and looking up to the southeast, you could see that Liuxiangqian looks like standing straight and raising her head and looking around; Getting a bird’s-eye view on northwest, you could see the gentle Taping village, the flowing black bamboo river, the valley-in-valley and the vague Shanbao cave. The scene of Tianmenya is marvelous with circling clouds sometimes. There is snow in October and it melts in next May. There are also rare marvelous renewed scenes at different time, such as scattering the cloud and raining, various forms of clouds , the frost in the Dragon Boat Festival , auspicious snow in Middle-Autumn, the Virginia bright leaf.
Please grasp the best time to view the cloudy sea and swallow sky. The most attractive scene in the swallow ecological trip areas is the well-known ‘cloudy sea and swallow sky”. The best time to see is at around 3:00 Pm. If you start from Muyu town, it takes 2 hours to get there. Firstly, you could visit Red Level Ground Gallery, and later explore in Tianmenya for one and half an hour, then it is best time to view cloudy sea and swallow sky.
Red Level Ground Gallery
The Red Level Ground Gallery ， about 27 kilometers to the northeast of Shennongjia, is 2500 meters in altitude . It winds through about 15 kilometers. At the bottom of The Red Level Ground Gallery, there are clear stream, three waterfalls, four stockaded villages, five ponds, six holes, seven ridges, eight rocks, nine stones, and eighteen peaks on the both sides. They are composed of a pretty painting hanging on the both sides with ingenious structure. Visitors enjoy the special scene of Red Level Ground Gallery with the following features, such as her queerness, weirdness, danger and elegance.
Ancient Rhinoceros Hole
The Ancient Rhinoceros Hole is well-known because in November1996, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Cultural Relic Management Department discovered all kinds of animal fossils of Paleolithic period in the hole,which are about 1000 pieces in total. Some of the animal fossils and skeleton remains are preliminary recognized as those of rhinoceros, panda, mossback, spotted deer, sambar, slegodonand leopard.
More than eight sets of rhinoceros bones and more than six sets of slegodon bones are discovered in the hole. The excavated paleolith includes the utensil of chopping, scraping, cutting, stone hammer, carving and so on. Most of the paleolith is composed of black firestone and a few is sandstone, both of which are processed by pounding. The discovery of the hole benefits the research about the ancient human activity in northwest of Hubei Province.