The name Dabieshan, "Big Difference Mountain Range", comes from its geographical and geological diversity, which has nurtured a myriad cultures and species - and, more recently, a growing tourism allure.
Heaven Lake is a primary attraction in Huanggang
This multiplicity of travel attractions will be celebrated during the first Dabieshan Tourism Festival from Oct 25 to 27 in Hubei province's Huanggang city.
The event will extend to five major scenic sites.
Activities in Hong'an will focus on revolutionary history. While Qichun's will honor maverick pharmacologist Li Shizhen (1518-1593), and Huangmei's will commemorate revered Qi Dynasty (AD 479-502) official Zu Ting.
The theme of Luotian's celebration will be "Essence of Dabieshan", while Yingshan's will be "Singing in Tea Country".
Heaven Lake is a primary attraction in Huanggang. Hua Ren / for China Daily
The alpine chain - especially its Hong'an and Macheng regions - is described in history textbooks as the staging ground for decisive civil war battles. In the late 1940s, revolutionary war heroes, including Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping, led Communist Party attacks that crushed Kuomintang forces, chalking up a body count of 15,400 enemy guerillas.
But in addition to their importance as a "Red" hotspot, the mountains are also gaining acclaim for green sceneries that are as dramatic and diverse as their topographies.
Huanggang's swath of Dabieshan, which extends beyond the city into Anhui and Henan provinces, is 95 percent afforested. As the habitat of 1,487 species of flora and 634 types of fauna, it is known as the "seventh gene pool of China".
The ecology has bred a number of traditional medicines and specialty foodstuffs. Qichun is known for its "four treasures" - snake, turtle, bamboo and moxa - while Wuxue is known for its bamboo products, and Yingshan is the source of "cloud mist" green tea.
Dabieshan's primary attractions are Heaven Valley, Baodao Mountain, Jiuzi River and Heaven Lake Garden.
Heaven Valley is the main mountain cluster of the alpine range. It spans both Hubei and Anhui, peaking at 1,729 meters at the apex of "The No 1 Mountain of the Central Plains".
To its west, Baodao juts 1,404 meters skyward at angles so sharp they render a knife-blade shape from which the mountain takes its name.
Jiuzi River wriggles between the cracks of terraced mounts that are sprinkled with traditional farming hamlets, ancient settlements where the flow of life is directed by the currents of folk custom.
The sheer magnificence of the 5-km-long, 0.5-km-wide water ribbon that is Heaven Lake has inspired the local saying: "Suhang lies in Jiangzhe, and heaven lies in Hubei".
While Dabieshan has long been known in the country, it is still relatively rarely visited.
The city of Huanggang hopes the upcoming festival will make a big difference to the Big Difference Mountains' tourism allure, taking it to new and greater heights.