If you have never been to Basianshan (Eight Deities Mountain) National Forest Recreation Area you are in for a treat. This destination is a paradise for mountain birds and mammals such as the Munjac Deer. Whether you come to explore the park and its many short trails featuring diverse landscapes or you have come to tackle the tallest of the famous Seven Heroes of Guguan, you won’t be disappointed. From rugged rivers to bamboo forests, from quiet trails to forest patios, this is a great Parkbus destination.
In addition to being a great place for touring historical sites, it is also a paradise for mountain birds. There is a rich ecology of birds; the Green-backed Tit and Varied Tit are two celebrities commonly spotted here. Not far from Taichung City, Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area is a premium choice for the whole family, young and old, to go on a single-day trip or to stay overnight to enjoy a night embraced by mountains and forests!
Hiking Trails in Baxianshan National Forest
There are a number of different hiking experiences available to visitors to this National Forest. All the trails (except for the Main Peak Trail) are short and suitable to everybody. There are several points of interests such as the Bamboo Forest, an Ecological Classroom, the Visitor Center and the stunning views along the Shiwen and Jiabao Rivers.
Baxianshan Main Peak Trail – 14km (return)
This trail is the tallest of the Seven Heroes of Guguan and reaches a total of 2,366m above sea level. If hikers hike at a moderate pace with a short break at the top the entire trail (round-trip) should take between 6-7 hours. The first half of this trail is consistently steep and features a mix of exposed rocks and roots and compact soil. Some wooden steps are featured too. After the first steep ascent hikers reach a ridge-line and the walk is much smoother and a bit easier. The entire trail is sheltered by the forest so it is well shaded. The vegetation changes from evergreen broadleaf forests to mixed conifer-broadleaf forests that go through obvious changes in different seasons and the colors are diverse and beautiful. This area used to be an important logging site and in fact was a lumber yard at one time. Expect to stop and check out some the past logging remnants that can be seen along the trail. This trail options is suitable only for those with moderate to strong fitness levels and novice to experienced hikers capable of ascending and descending significant elevation over a long distance.
Teana Trail (<1km)
The Tianlai Trail runs parallel from the Shiwen River to the Jiabao River along a stunning boardwalk that hugs the mountain side with views across the river. While this trail has been recently closed due to a landslide, you can still enjoy the ecology of the mountain and valley cut by the stream along the way. The water is crystal clear and it is one of the famous springs in Taiwan. Keep your eye out and ears open for Kingfisher as they dive for some of the plentiful mountain fish in the rivers.
Bamboo Forest Trail (>1km)
The bamboo forest trail is a lovely hike that begins at the top of the park, near the trailhead to Baxianshan Main Peak Trail. The trail then curves down towards the visitor center and connects with several other trails in the park. The stone step and compact soil trail surfaces are well-maintained and suitable for all kinds of hikers. Definitely stop here if you’re looking for a good photo spot.
Pine Forest Trail (>1km)
Connecting from the Bamboo Forest Trail, the Pine Forest Trail is a great way to extend the hiking in the eastern part of Baxianshan National Forest. There is a greater diversity of tree species along this trail. There are also a number of bird nest boxes along the Bamboo Forest Trail and the Pine Forest Trail. Many bird lovers come here with cameras to look for unique birds such as the Swinhoe Pheasant and the Red-Bellied Tit.
Tonglin Trail (<1km)
Tonglin Trail is the shortest and easiest trail in the park. Less than a kilometer, this looped trail brings guests down to the riverside and out to a very picturesque viewing platform. There is also a foot-bath pool next to the trail where you can step on the water.
Cherry Blossom Trail (2km)
The Cherry Blossom Trail connects from the upper parking and the Pine Forest Trail down towards a lower forest road. Trail surfaces include stone steps, compact soil and wooden steps. This trail is scenic and during Cherry Blossom season is truly magnificent.
Baxianshan National Forest Recreation Area Guide Map
Attractions & Things to Do in Baxianshan National Forest
Visitor Center – The visitor center at Baxianshan National Forest has a lot of information and helpful staff to help you plan your trip in the park based on your needs and capabilities. There are also several interactive exhibits showcasing the local plant and wildlife. Washrooms are available.
Restaurant and Cafe – The restaurant on site features a range of warm and cold beverages as well as a variety of food options for visitors. An amazing patio gives hikers and visitors a perfect place to wind down or just relax chatting with friends before jumping back on the bus to head home. Washrooms and water refill station is available.