Sanyi’s around 1hr 15m
Puli a good couple of hours
Ershui not sure, a couple of hours
Guguan 2 hours
Taian around 2 hours
Where can I get more info on these hikes?
By the way, have you heard anything about the road to Daxueshan having been closed as a result of the typhoon in July? A friend said that the road would be closed for at least ten years, as the government said the mountains needed time to recover. I quizzed him on this and asked whether it wasn’t the Central Cross-Island Highway he meant instead. He said no, that it was definitely Daxueshan. A great pity, there are some nice walks up there and quite a few ‘sacred trees’ though not as many as at Alishan.[/quote]
I got this from the Welcome to Taiwan website:
[quote]Due to typhoon damages, the following forest recreation areas will be closed temporarily: Kuan-wu Forest Recreation Area, Nei-tung Forest Recreation Area, Teng-chih Forest Recreation Area, Ta-hsueh-shan Forest Recreation Area, Pa-hsien-shan Forest Recreation Area, and Ou-wan-ta Forest Recreation Area. Also closed is the Jenjieh Springs at the Tai-ping-shan Forest Recreation Area.
Teng-chih Forest Recreation Area is expected to re-open early October, Ou-wan-ta Forest Recreation Area is scheduled to re-open early November, and Ta-hsueh-shan Forest Recreation Area will be closed till the end of this year.
The exact re-openings dates of these areas will be announced later. Please check the website of the National Forest Recreation Area for the latest news at recreate.forest.gov.tw/default.php.[/quote]
I checked the forest recreation website but didn’t see any news. There are numbers for all the areas though so you could call to find out if Daxueshan will open at the end of this year or 10 years from now.
I can’t see why it would need to be closed for 10 years if they plan to ever reopen it. The mountains are not going to recover any faster without traffic on the road in.
For Sanyi here’s a not bad little website with map:
There are a few areas to hike. The old train track that lead to the Shengsing Train station is 12 kilometres long and makes for a good afternoon’s hike in the countryside. Even on a weekend few people go much farther than the second tunnel so it’s best to drive up to Shengsing station and start there. There is a short recently opened historical trail near the station if you feel you must get into the forest. It was only a couple km long last year but they might have lengthened it by now. Everyone’s crazy about opening up old trails. Trying to get their hands on that 3billion Nt pot.
The Sanyi map also shows a couple short mountains to hike and one old trail used to haul coal. Haven’t done them but they sound interesting.
Just before you pull into Guguan there is a road to the right which will take you to Bashianshan Forest Recreation area (10 minute drive). I’ve been on the trails there. Nice area. Used to be a logging area and they’ve left some of the equipment around. The trails are 2 to 6 hours in length and are all well marked. You can check out the park on the forest reserve website.
Taian has oodles of hiking. The new Lonely Planet has a map with the major hikes on it. At the Tenglong Hot Spring Village you can pick up a locally made map. It shows a few hikes up behind the aboriginal village. These aren’t on the LP map as I never had time to check them out.
Puli has just one two hour return hike that I know of so it’s probably not worth a 2 hour drive there and back unless you are going to check out some other things in the area. In any case, the new LP mentions the hike. It starts just on the edge of town where Jungshan turns into the number 14. There’s a park where the geographical centre of Taiwan sits and the hike takes you up to the commemorative plaque and across to Carp Lake. Just before you reach carp lake there is an old rusted car shell stuck up in a tree about 10 feet off the ground. No idea how it got there but it makes for a good photo.
Ershui has a couple hour return walk up to a temple on Songbo Ridge. It’s a paved path (no cars) through a really pleasant forest. I give detailled directions to the trail from the train station in the new LP if you’re interested. At the temple you will see a map showing other routes across the ridge.
There’s also the bike path in Ershui so you could spend a good healthy afternoon hiking up to the temple and then biking around the fields.
By the way, I don’t get royalties on the new LP.