Great Wall Trail in Dadushan

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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).

Dadushan is the large broad hill on the West of Taichung City. It separates Taichung basin (and the city center) from the coastal area (Dadu, Longjin, Shalu and Qingshui Districts).

View from the Great Wall Trail in Dadushan, Taichung

View from the Great Wall Trail in Dadushan, Taichung

But Great Wall is also a network of trails, as you can see on the map below.

Great Wall is actually a network of trails. The main trail is marked in pink color.

Great Wall is actually a network of trails. The main trail is marked in pink color.

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.

The bus stop is just at 50 meters from the beginning of the Great Wall trail.

The bus stop is just at 50 meters from the beginning of the Great Wall trail.

From the bus stop, just walk 50 meters downhill along Huannan Road (aka Taichung Blue Highway). Then follow the country road on the left.

From Taichung Motor Vehicles Bus Stop (bus #325) just follow Huannan Road for about 50 meters. The beginning of the trail is along the country road on the left.

From Taichung Motor Vehicles Bus Stop (bus #325) just follow Huannan Road for about 100 meters. The beginning of the trail is along 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.

Tea Oil (or Tea Seed Oil) comes from cold pressing the seeds of this shrub, which is almost identical to the tea plant.

Tea Oil (or Tea Seed Oil) comes from cold pressing the seeds of this shrub, which is almost identical to the tea plant. The tea oil (not to be confused with tea tree oil) is a delicate fragrant edible oil, with nutritional properties even better than olive oil. It is widely used in China and Taiwan.

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.

Great Wall Trail in Dadushan, Taichung City.

Great Wall Trail in Dadushan, Taichung City.

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.

The unexpected beauty of this corner of Dadushan, at just 15 minutes drive from the busiest parts of Taichung City.

The unexpected beauty of this corner of Dadushan, at just 15 minutes drive from the busiest parts of Taichung City.

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.

Huannan Road has been built only a few years ago. There were protests as the road cuts trough the last wild part of Dadushan, inhabited by the elusive leopard cat. If you need, Huannan Road is safe for walking, a sidewalk has been built along it,

Huannan Road has been built only a few years ago. There were protests as the road cuts trough the last wild part of Dadushan, inhabited by the elusive leopard cat. If you need, Huannan Road is safe for walking, a sidewalk has been built along it.

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.

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