We spent the long weekend hiking this trail, Xiakeluo - 霞喀羅. It’s in xinzhu county near a small village called qingquan. To get there you take the 122 all the way from zhudong to qingquan and the follow the sign up the mountain from there. Also before hiking the trail you need to get a permit from the police station on the way.
At the moment the road leading to trail has been wiped out by recent typhoons but if you’re careful you can still get across and walk the 4km to the trail head. The trail itself starts at around 1600m and goes up steeply for 3km to 2000m. At around 3.5km you can take a side trail up to the peak of xiakeluo dashan, which takes about 60mins.
Then after that it’s pretty easy going. The trail is wide and gently slopes down, mostly. Towards the middle there are several bridges that have been taken out and care is needed when crossing these areas but other than that it’s a pleasant walk through the forest. Along the way the are the remnants of several aboriginal settlements and Japanese police stations.
We hiked 12km to the abandoned Baishi station and camped there. It’s pretty much the halfway point Then we hiked back to the start the next day. However the trail actually continues much further and I was told it’s well worth going but that means a 3 day trip, walking there and back or a one way trip with some sort of prearranged transport at the end.
For photos have a look here
I also heard that in Qingquan there are some wildsrpings which would make a great end to a long hike but there wasn’t time for us to find them.