[Recommended Article] A trip to Taipingshan is worth every penny
TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Trying to catch a glimpse of the canopy of yellow leaves formed by the Taiwan Beech forest, I drove for three hours from Taipei to Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area (太平山國家森林遊樂區) on Friday (Nov. 10), and at the end of the day, I felt the trip was worth every penny I paid at the gate even though there were some miscalculations on my part.
The Forest for All Seasons
Taipingshan is located at Datong Township and Nanao Township, Yilan County, its area is covering 12,631 hectares and at elevation 2,000 m. It used to be called " Mien Nao ", meaning " the thick and greenish forest " in Atayal language. In the old days, Taipingshan was listed along with Alishan and Baxianshan as one of the three major forest farms in Taiwan. Taipingshan was transformed into a place for conservation and nature education and renamed Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area in 1982, after the logging business came to an end.In addition to the abundant natural resources, Taipingshan also enjoys unique landscapes such as hot spring, virgin Taiwan cypress forest and high mountain lakes. You will experience the beauty of the changing seasons in Taipingshan at any point of time.Travelling in Spring A Trip of Relaxation—Jioujhihze Hot Spring and Nature Trail Forest BathingJioujhihze is situated at a river valley deep in the mountains and possesses a healing hot spring originated from the earth. Its content is weak based calcium carbonate which can make skin feel slippery. The facilities here include hot spring cabins with Taiwan cypress bathtub, an outdoor SPA pool, outdoor naked bathing pools, and a volcanic cone shaped egg-boiling trough. It takes about 13 minutes to cook the delicious hot spring egg. Before enjoying the hot spring bath with mountains in the backdrop, it is recommended to take a stroll at the Jioujhihze Nature Trail and sweat it out.Watching in Summer Hidden in Taiwan Cypress Forest and Encircled by Clouds, the Largest High Mountain Lake in Taiwan —Cueifong Lake Circular TrailCueifong Lake is situated between Taipingshan and Tayuan Mountain at elevation 1,840 m. Its largest area can reach 25 hectares in rain season and Cueifong Lake is also the largest high mountain lake in Taiwan. Cueifong Lake Circular Trail is built on the old tracks of forest railway and is about 40-minute drive from Taipingshan Villa. The entrance of the trail is at 15.5 k of Cueifong Scenic Road. The total length of Cueifong Lake Circular Trail is 3.95 km and it takes 2.5 hours for round trip. It used to be a forest railway and later was turned into a forest road by removing tracks and enlarging lane width. At the ending point, there is an exhibition warehouse transformed from the revitalized former fuel storage. Besides, there are two viewing platforms built by the lake to enjoy the scenery and to watch birds playing in the water. By visiting this place, all the efforts you have made won’t be in vain.Appreciating in Autumn Scenery Painted with Golden Yellow Pigments—Taiwan Beech TrailTaiwan Beech Trail is situated at the side of Cueifong Villa, the total length is 3..95 km and it takes 3 hours for round trip. Along the last section of this trail, there are 900 hectares of pure Taiwan Beech forest, the largest of its kind in Taiwan. In spring, Taiwan Beech produces buds; in summer, the whole tree is painted in green; in autumn, its leaves turn into yellow and all leaves fall from tree in winter.Exploring in Winter Misty Fairyland in the Mountain—Taiwan Hemlock Forest Nature TrailBehind Taipingshan Villa, there are forests of Taiwan Hemlock and Taiwan Cypress which safeguards the source of drinking water of Taipingshan Villa and the dwellings of people. The trunk of Taiwan Hemlock is sturdy, its branch thick and canopy is in the shape of an umbra. With white-colored barks, Taiwan Hemlock can evoke the image of traditional landscape painting if put in a foggy background. Because positioned in the transitional belt between conifer and broadleaf forests and this area is at high elevation and facing the ocean current which brings in moisture, this trail is shrouded in fogs all year round. The total length of Taiwan Hemlock Forest Nature Trail is 2.2 km and it takes 2.5 hours for round trip. The degree of difficulty of this trail is medium, so it is suitable for all ages to experience this high mountain forest trail full of phytoncides.Its entrance is behind the Virgin Taiwan Cypress Forest. Therefore, the near 500 stairs of central stairway at Taipingshan Villa, which is guarded by two rows of Japanese Maple, becomes the only passage to Taiwan Hemlock Forest Nature Trail. This stairway will become a stunning red tree tunnel when sunlight penetrating Japanese Maple’s leaves.
Movie landscape (Miannao)
Taipingshan is located in the southwest of Datong Township, Yilan County, covering area of 12,631 hectares and elevation close to 2000 meters, the mountain range was called "Miannao", an Atayal Aborigine term meaning "green and luxuriant, or thriving and flourishing with dense forest".Taipingshan is located in the southwest of Datong Township, Yilan County, covering area of 12,631 hectares and elevation close to 2000 meters, the mountain range was called "Miannao", an Atayal Aborigine term meaning "green and luxuriant, or thriving and flourishing with dense forest".
The Double Bathing
Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area promotes ”Double Bathing—Hot Spring + Forest” to visitors. It is suggested visitors to hiking first to enjoy the forest bathing, then go to Jioujhihze Hot Spring to enjoy the hot spring bathing to the fullest. Jioujhihze is 100-minute drive away from downtown Yilan City. Its content is weak based calcium carbonate which can make skin feel slippery. So it has the nickname “Hot Spring for Beauties”. The facilities here include an outdoor SPA pool, hot spring cabins, outdoor naked bathing pools, and a volcanic cone shaped egg-boiling trough. It takes just 10 minutes or so to cook the delicious hot spring egg.Luodong Forest District Office recommends the 「Double Bathing」 as the best way of planning your trip, because it enables you to enjoy the bath of hot spring and forest at the same time. Furthermore, you can go to three community trails near Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area. They are:Jiuliao River Trail: It is located at Lunpi Village, Datong Township and inside Jiuliao River Environmental Education Park. The trail starts from a wooden bridge upstream 2.2 km and stretches along the river. Its ending point is Jiuliao waterfall, total length 1.8 km.Song-luo National Trail: Song-luo Brook is a tributary of Lanyang River upstream. Song-luo Trail is next to the brook and there are beautiful landscapes as well as recreational facilities along the trail. Furthermore, there are three waterfront fish watching paths designed for visitors to go near water and watch fish and amazing stones. At the ending point, there is a cave and a waterfall behind it.Chuan-tou-mu Nature Trail: It is located at Tien-sung-pi, Sanshing Township. Its entrance is situated at Provincial Highway 7 c (9.5K) where a big wooden stature resembling fist stands. The total length is 1.3 km and it takes two hours for round trip. This trail is rather smooth and is composed of timber and sawdust. It is good for hiking for all ages.
- Fans Group for Taipingshan