Hiking the 15km Xiaoxueshan National Trail / 漫步在雲霧中:小雪山國家步道

One of Taiwan’s designated National Forests in Taiwan, Daxueshan National Forest (大雪山國家森林遊樂區) (meaning Great/Big Snow Mountain in Mandarin Chinesecovers a massive area of nearly 4,000 hectares in Heping District in eastern Taichung County.

大雪山國家森林遊樂區位於台中市和平區,佔地可以來到4,000公頃,是中台灣著名的森林遊樂區之一。

As with other National Forest Recreation Areas in Taiwan such as Alishan and Taipingshan National Forest, Daxueshan also boosts a past of timber extraction. In it’s present form, this protected area transcends several climates making it a fantastic outdoor recreational destination and a perfect spot for hiking, wildlife viewing and forest bathing. Moving from warm temperate to temperate to frigid forests, the flora in the park is diverse and ranges from broadleaf deciduous to coniferous.

與太平山和阿里山國家森林遊樂區一樣,大雪山過去曾經也因為的木材開採而興盛,此外,大雪山國家森林遊樂區也涵蓋了多種氣候,使其成為絕佳的戶外休閒目的地,也是遠足、觀賞野生動物和森林浴的理想地方。從亞熱帶到溫帶再到寒帶的森林,公園裡的植物種類繁多,從闊葉林、落葉林一直到針葉林都有。

The Xiaoxueshan National Trail is one of our favorites for many reasons.

At around 3-4 hours south of Taipei (depending on traffic), this park is mountainous and difficult (and time consuming) to get from the north. The final 30km alone take over an hour as the road curves and switchbacks up the mountain.

相較於其他園區,大雪山國家森林遊樂區位於較深山的地區且難以從北部到達,從台北開車到大雪山若交通順暢的話大約需要3至4小時車程處,而且由於道路彎曲且折返上下山的緣故,光是最後30km的路程就需要一個多小時。


Getting to Daxueshan National Forest / 如何去大雪山國家森林遊樂區

There is no direct public transportation from Taichung Train Station or Taichung High Speed Rail Station to Daxueshan. You will either have to take a tour or drive up to the park with a private vehicle. That’s the first challenge. The second issue is that the Xiaoxueshan National Trail (小雪山國家步道) is a linear, thru hike and to complete the Xiaoxueshan Trail end to end, you will one of two things. 1) Two cars, where one vehicle gets parked at the top at the visitor center and your friend drives you back down. Or 2) You have a great friend who will drop you off at the trailhead and drive up and hike down to meet you halfway. Or…..

Taking Parkbus to Daxueshan National Forest – Parkbus Taiwan offers direct and return transporation to Daxueshan, with drop off at the trailhead and pick up at the visitor. Check here for upcoming trips to Daxueshan.

大雪山並沒有從台中火車站或台中高鐵站直達的公共交通工具,只能選擇計程車或是到東勢搭乘252號公車,而且大多數人在前往小雪山步道時會遇到一個重大的難題:小雪山步道是線型步道,此時你可以選擇1)停好車並來回小雪山步道,總長約30km;2)跟朋友一起,準備兩台車停在步道兩端或是請朋友在另一端載你;3)……

搭乘Parkbus Taiwan的大雪山之旅的行程,我們提供來回且直達的交通服務,也有兩個停靠點,讓你可以輕鬆在步道開始下車、步道結尾上車,輕鬆又平安的來回市區及大雪山,有關Parkbus Taiwan的大雪山之旅行程表請點此


Getting to the Trailhead / 步道起點

Disembark from the bus or park your car just inside the park gates to Daxueshan. You’ll have to pay admission for individual entrants ($100),  as well as admission for a vehicle ($100). There is a washroom located adjacent to the parking lot and a water refill facility near the staff offices at the park gate. 

以下來簡單跟大家介紹一下如何從小雪山步道口開始走到大雪山遊客中心,以及上次一同參與Parkbus Taiwan一起出發體驗小雪山步道朋友們的登山紀錄。在抵達大雪山國家森林遊樂區售票口後,你必須支付每人100元及一輛車100元的入場費,此時旁邊就有一個停車場、洗手間以及飲水機。

A trail map of Daxueshan National Forest showing a variety of hiking trails inside and adjacent to the park

Getting to the trailhead involves walking a short 200-300m up the main forest road, away from the park gate. The road here is a lane and a half, so keep an eye out for traffic. You’ll find the trailhead on the left hand side of the road with a trail guide kiosk with details on trail distance, time and elevation. 

小雪山步道的入口也在這附近,所以Parkbus Taiwan的交通車也會讓大家在這裡下車後再開到大雪山遊客中心等待大家。從售票口步行約200至300m後在道路左側會看到小亭子並標示著步道起點的牌子,牌子上有許多資訊,其中包含步道距離、時間和海拔高度,請注意這條路是一條車道,要小心安全。


First Half of the Trail / 步道前半段

As soon as you begin hiking the Xiaoxueshan Trail in Daxueshan National Forest, you know you’re in for a treat. After an initial little climb up some steps and a meandering trail, you’ll start to see some of the larger standing trees and immediately start to feel the stress of the city slip away.

進入步道不久後,你就會開始覺得自己身處在仙境之中,尤其是在完成最開始的台階和一條蜿蜒的小路後,較大型的樹木將會映入眼簾並幫助你消除都市生活帶給你的壓力。

The forest is spectacular.

The views along this first portion of the trail are limited as the forest is dense and the trail mostly travels through the middle of a forest. The trail is a mix of compact soil and wooden steps for the steeper inclines. This is consistent throughout the trail, except near the final descent towards the visitor. Hiking the first half of this trail is truly spectacular. Depending on the weather (and it can change very quickly), you can either get a spooky and foggy type of feeling if the fog rolls in or it can be a bright and uplifting hike if you get blue skies. Frankly, the spooky and foggy hike has been one our favorites as it adds a level of mystery to the whole experience. 

混合了緊湊的土壤和木頭台階,加上聳立在步道周圍的巨木和茂密的樹林,步道的前半段會因為天氣的不同帶來的不一樣的風景,如果起大霧,你可能會有一種身處在迷幻森林的詭異感覺,又或者如果在藍天白雲下會讓你覺得這是場令人振奮開闊的旅程。至於你問我們喜歡哪一種天氣,坦白說,如同幽靈般的多霧天氣一直是我們的最愛,因為濃霧為整體的旅程增添了一層神秘感。

There aren’t many difficult hiking sections on this trail at all and certainly nothing too exerting on the first half. Be mindful of the time as you walk through this section. We love to take pictures and take our time and sometimes we forget that we have a fair bit of hiking to cover in a day. 

儘管步道的前段沒有很多困難的路段,也沒什麼太多體力,但請注意這只是今天旅程的開始,前面還有很多美景,不要花太多時間駐足在這裡拍照而忘記時間。

The first half of the Xiaoxueshan Trail is like a leisurely walk in an amazing forest. Nothing too difficult.

There are not actually many benches or other places to sit off the ground, so the small gazebo and pavilion at the Xkm marker is a nice place to plan to have lunch. When you arrive here you’ll see a trail that descends to the left and another that continues up the mountain. You can take both, but we suggest you head up the mountain if you feel up for it.

由於步道中沒有很多長凳或其他可以坐在地上的地方,所以當經過步道距離標記處的小涼亭時是可以適當休息和吃午飯的好地方。當你到達這裡時會看到岔路,一條向左下降和另一條繼續上山,請放心,兩條路都可以走,但如果你願意也還有體力的話,我們建議你走上山的那條路。


Second Half of the Trail / 步道中後半段

From the gazebo, hiking along the Xiaoxueshan National Trail becomes a bit more difficult. The trail begins to ascend and the climbing becomes a bit steeper and consistent. The ecosystems change as well. 

在涼亭休息片刻後,我們繼續出發前往步道的中後半段,從這裡開始小雪山步道徒變得有點困難,道路開始上升使得攀登變得更加陡峭,這裡的生態系統變化了不少。

This is a beautiful and well-maintained trail in the heart of Taiwan’s Central Mountains

Along this section of the trail, you’ll pass through seemingly 3-4 different kinds of ecosystems. While some areas feature more open grasslands others shift to more coniferous forest with a pine needle covering on the trail. Either way, this diversity helps keep your lungs full as you hike your way up. Remember you’ll be approaching 2000m in elevation. While the hiking isn’t technically challenging it can be. We notice the trailside conversations while hiking tend to slow down and hikers focus on the trail and task at hand.

沿著這條步道走,你可以一口氣看到至少3到4種不同類型的生態系統,有些地區擁有開闊的草原,其他地方則有著更多的針葉林和佈滿松針的步道。但無論哪種景色,他們所產出的氧氣和芬多精都可以幫助在你往上攻頂時保持肺部飽滿。請特別注意,此時的海拔將接近2000m,因此雖然這段路程在技術上並不具有挑戰性,但海拔高度仍然會對我們產生一些影響,通常在這裡我們注意到大家會開始放慢腳步、談話聲減少,每個人都開始專注在自己的步伐上。

The trail begins to ascend on the second half of this trail and the hiking gets a bit more difficult.

It could also be that the views also improve. While Parkbus has hosted many of these trips, we’ve almost always had low cloud cover and fog roll during this section of the hike. As you skirt the mountain’s edge (nothing too dangerous here), you’ll keep taking switchbacks up the mountain with views of the central mountain range of Taiwan all around you. 

雖然小雪山之旅在Parkbus Taiwan的旅程中難度算是中高級,但我們相信一旦成功抵達終點,成就感也是不可言喻的,最好的例子就是小雪山步道中迎接大家的中台灣山脈景色。

Views from the viewing deck in Daxueshan National Forest.

Eventually, after 3-4km, you’ll arrive at a viewing platform with seats above and below this wood structure. Take a well-earned break here to have a snack and catch your breath. There is a trail guide kiosk here that illustrates the remaining trail distances and elevation. While the hiking durations provided on Taiwanese maps and kiosks  are helpful, they can sometimes be off. It really depends on the hiker’s capabilities and endurance. 

經過3至4km的中高難度步道之旅後,我們將到達一個觀景台,檯面上面和下面都有座位可供各位休息、吃點零食、喘口氣。除此之外這裡有一個步道的導覽告示牌,說明了剩餘的距離和海拔高度。雖然台灣地圖和告示牌上的資訊提供了客觀的數據,但能否順利完成取決於我們的能力和耐力,所以我們繼續加油吧!

Looking down from the viewing platform at some Parkbus guests discussing the final few kilometers of hiking.

From the viewing platform to the visitor center, we expect hikers to finish this section of the trail between 1-2 hours.

接下來的路是從觀景台到遊客中心,預計可以在1至2小時內完成。


Onwards from the Viewing Platform / 從觀景台出發

The last 3km require nearly 2km of climbing up 300-400 meters. It’s a rewarding section of the trail, but after nearly 13km of hiking, this section tends to really take a toll on those just beginning out for hiking. The environment changes again and the ecosystem is different at this elevation and the trail opens up so there are plenty of opportunities to spot soaring hawks and eagles. 

在最後3km中的2km,我們需要先經過一段300至400m的爬升,在一般的時候可能是很輕鬆的事情,但在這裡我們先經過近13km的徒步旅行,已經消耗了一大部分的體力,因此這段攀升對於新手來說可能是最困難的一部份。但是別被自己打敗了,越困難的挑戰帶來的是更美的風景和更高的成就感,在這裡周遭環境和生態系統再次發生變化,步道視野也越來越開闊,因此有很多機會發現翱翔的老鷹。

The descent down to the visitor center can be challenge. Take your time and keep a sure footing. It can get slippery.

Once you’ve hiked nearly two kilometers along wooden stairs, you’ll cross over a wooden bridge and reach a trail junction. Turn right to begin the final descent down towards this Daxueshan Visitor Center. 

沿著木樓梯行走近2km後,我們將穿過一座木橋到達叉路口,我們選擇右轉並開始最後的下降,前往大雪山遊客中心。


Final Descent and Getting to the Visitor Center / 最後一段下坡路到遊客中心

This section of the trail is nearly the only part that includes a significant decline. For just over 1km, hikers will descend on a mix of compact soil (rocks and roots), wooden steps and even some makeshift wooden ladders with ropes. It can get tiring after a very long day on the trail. It can also get wet and slippery as there is a lot of moisture in the air at this altitude. Take your time and keep a steady footing. 

對於膝蓋或是腳狀況不好的朋友來說這段路程將會是挑戰性最高的,因為這條路是整趟步道中擁有最顯著下降的部分。在這個超過1km的路程中,我們將踩過扎實的土壤(岩石和樹根)和天然木台階,也會需要經過一些由繩索串起的的臨時木梯上下山。由於空氣中水份充足,因此在下雨的時候路面也會變得濕滑。我們建議大家慢慢來,保持穩定的立足點。

You’ll reach the paved forest road and turn right for the last 100m before you reach the visitor center. Grab some snacks, maybe a coffee and relax on the outdoor patios. You’ve earned it!

經過最後100m的林道後我們將抵達遊客中心,恭喜你完成了一項壯舉,成功挑戰自己也順利看到了美景,好好在遊客中心內吃點東西,也許在戶外露台上放鬆一下喝杯咖啡,這是你應得的獎勵!

Depending on how much you double back along the trail to take pictures or to just explore a little more, it should take you between 4-6 hours to complete the hike along the famous Xiaoxueshan National Trail in Daxueshan National Forest.

最後來統計一下走完小雪山步道全程的時間,會根據您在路上停留拍照、吃東西、休息的時間而定,通常會需要4到6小時才能完成這個大雪山國家森林遊樂區內著名的小雪山國家步道。

Published by Parkbus Taiwan

Parkbus Taiwan is a solutions-oriented tourism initiative aimed at connecting city to nature through reliable, reservable and responsible transportation options.

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