Does anyone know of any real hiking trails (not road or paved paths/stairs) surrounding Kunming that are close to public transportation or maybe within an hour or so walking distance from a metro or bus stop?
Yunnan Agricultural University old campus is just twenty minutes walk from the nearest subway, or take 96, 128, 9, 79 buses. The latter two will drop you off right outside the university.
Make your way through the old campus to the back lane that heads northwards toward the mountain(s): Lijia, Xiao Caojia and Fenglingshan mountains. From the top of Fenglingshan you can see Songhuaba Reservoir over to the east. On a clear day you could see most of Kunming and immediately below is CiBa, but right now, just settle for being up amongst the clouds, mist and pine trees. A fairly steep ascent for between 30 - 60 minutes but then the summit and a range of options for where to head next. This time of the year plenty of butterflies of all sizes and colours, the odd snake and lizard. If you know where to look you can pick up wild ginger but ignore the mushrooms unless you're certain they're safe. Rain or shine, take an umbrella and water. Once you get to the top choose which way you want to go. There are numerous options lasting from a couple of hours to very much longer. My longest was 38km ending up down at the reservoir and back to what is now the Waterfall Park leading to the Panlong and back to Beijing Lu. I'm sat looking at it now and the clouds swirling around the summit are an amazing scene. No paved paths or steps. Apart from a goatherd, you'll possibly not set eyes on anyone for the duration. It's beautiful.
Post 888; a perfect number on which to retire from posting on GK. Next stop UK.
@nnoble Thank you! I appreciate all the detail. I'll be heading up there this week.
Check out Changchong Shan:
Xishan has lots of trails. Bus and metro available for public transport.