Great Wall Trail is a popular walk in the SW of Taichung City. The main trail is 2.7 km long, with an elevation gain of about 200 meters.
The trail is well maintained. It gently rides, up and down, along ridges (hence the name Great Wall) in one of the remaining relatively unspoiled parts of Dadushan (Dadu Hill).
But Great Wall is also a network of trails, as you can see on the map below.
Many people hike the trail from its top. That is because it is closer to Taichung, and easier to reach, just in front of Taichung Motor Vehicles Bureau. Bus #325 and #323 stop there.
From the bus stop, just walk 50 meters downhill along Huannan Road (aka Taichung Blue Highway). Then follow the country road on the left.
The top of Dadu Hill is flat. Local people consider the red highly oxidized soil of this highland to be very good for growing sweet potatoes. You can also see rows of shrubs of Camelia Oleifera. This plant is almost identical to the true tea plant (Camelia Sinensis). A sweet, delicate edible oil (tea oil or tea seed oil) is extracted from the seeds.
After a few hundred meters you will reach a pavilion, at the end of the country road. There is a rest area and a great view. The main Great Wall Trail starts on the left.
As you can see from the picture above, Great Wall Trail is well maintained, suitable for most of people. A forest of slender Xiāngsī trees provides shade to most of the hike.
As you walk the trail downhill, you will pass trough several forks and rest areas (but no water, bring your own!). Follow the main (better paved and maintained) track on your left.
If you want you may also explore the other trails on the right, but consider that the maps displayed on several signs are quite outdated. The new Huannan Road is not reported on these maps, for example.
The trail ends in a parking, close to a factory. From here you can go back, climb again uphill (the round trip takes about 2-3 hours).
How to get to the Great Wall Trail
- Great Wall Trail Top: Bus #323 and #325, Taichung Motor Vehicles Bureau Stop (臺中區監理所). Be aware that bus #323 stops just in front of the building (along Youyuan Rd.). Instead bus #325 stops at the beginning of Huannan Road (just a few meters between the two stops). To reach the trail just follow along Huannan Road for about 100 meters and turn to the country road on the left. Follow the road until its end (500 meters).
- Great Wall Trail Bottom: More tricky. The trail entrance is on Ln. 310, Sec. 2, Shatian Rd, Dadu District, just behind a car factory. See the map for details. The closest bus stop is Xinzhuang Village, at about 1.5 km. Buses #93, #102, #105, #166 and #180 stop there. This blog provides info and pictures if you want to start Great Wall Trail from its bottom in Dadu.