One of 12 designated National Forests in Taiwan, Dongyanshan (meaning Eastern Eye Mountain in Mandarin Chinese) is a stunning park perched among the beautiful, yet rugged mountains of south eastern Taoyuan County.
Less than two hours south of Taipei, this park is comprised mainly of Japanese and Chinese Cedars as well as some broad-leaved trees such as Beech, Oak and Formosan Rhododendrons. Under the thick canopy, flora flourishes including Giant Elephant Ears (Taro) and other lush ferns.
Wildlife is abundant in this park and if you’re lucky you can spot larger mammals such as Formosan Rock Macaques, Red-bellied Squirrels or Formosan Hares. Birdlife, smaller mammals, reptiles and amphibians are all commonly spotted including multiple kinds of toads, frogs and snakes.
Hikes/Trails & Points of Interest:
There are several hikes located inside Dongyanshan National Forest that are suitable for beginner and novice hikers, as well as a more advanced hike (in distance and terrain) that connects Dongyanshan National Forest to Manyueyuan National Forest. The trails vary in length and difficulty, providing visitors of all skill levels something to explore.
Scenic Trail (<1km) – Connecting the visitor centre and the restaurant along a relatively flat, flag and cobble stone surfaced trail with only a few short sections of stairs. This is a beginner & stroller-friendly trail that features beautiful small bridges over winding streams and a great introduction into the beautiful temperate forests that make up this scenic park.
Forestry Trail (~6km return) – Explore further afield along this beautiful trail. The forest in Dongyanshan National Forest is considered a secondary forest having been logged earlier in the 20th century. Park management has done a fantastic job along this trail interpreting the industrial heritage of the region, showcasing the logging history with exhibits and interpretive bilingual (English / Mandarin) signage. This trail heads east from the restaurant and would be deemed appropriate for beginner and novice hiker with modest elevation climbs.
Self-Guided Trail (~4km) – This trail begins at the visitor centre and leads to the peak of Dong Yan Mountain (1,212 metres). Enjoy the stunning views and seemingly endless ridgelines across Taoyuan County, including Sanxia Township and Danshui River. The entire route is over four kilometres and includes 20 outdoor exhibits and interpretative signage.
Dong Mun Hiking Trail (8km one-way) – This is an advanced with significant elevation ascent/descents. Approximately eight kilometres in length, this trail connects Manyueyuan and Dongyanshan National Forests. It takes between 3-4 hours to hike and offers spectacular panoramic views of the region. The Dong Mun Hiking Trail is not within the jurisdiction of the Dongyanshan National Forest Recreation Area. Visitors wishing to hike this trail are responsible for their own safety.
Points of Interest:
Visitor Centre – This visitor features a small cafeteria serving drinks and snacks, conference room and small interpretive centre with bilingual (English / Mandarin) exhibits. Washrooms available on site.
Restaurant (Under Construction) – A multi-purpose facility serving meals and drinks has capacity for 100 people.
Fossil Area – Kids and adults alike will love the trace fossils and fossil area that showcase the geological evolution of Taiwan! Dating back 30 million years, the fossils of ancient shrimp and crab can be found along the Forestry Trail.
Afforestation Memorial Stone – Once a deforested mountain region, the forests among Dongyanshan were replanted and converted back into woodlands and forests. The memorial stone lies at the end of the Forestry Trail and commemorates those who replanted this forest.