Dadushan is the broad terraced hill that divides Taichung from the sea.
Despite the fact that a large part of this hill is heavily urbanized, in Dadushan there are still several areas where you can have interesting but easy walks.
One of these is Zhu Keng Nan Liao Hiking Trail. The complete loop can be walked in about 1.5 hours (5.5 km long).
Zhu Nan Liao Keng Hiking Trails follows a small valley that descends from the hills to the sea and the adjacent ridge of the hill. Most of the area is covered by a grassland dotted with cycads palms and Taiwan acacia trees. For this reason, there is almost no shade and it’s really best to avoid the hottest hours, in order not to cook under the fierce sun.
The first settlement of Hoklo (Taiwanese) people in this part of Taiwan was in this little valley, that was a trade route in the XVIII century. Along the way you can see the original water well called Longjing (Dragon Well), from which the town got its name.
This walk is really easy, there are no risk of losing the way, even without the signs and the maps that can be often found along the path.
The environment in Dadushan is endangered by wild urbanizations, power lines and roads.
However Dadushan still reserves surprises. For example, recently Tunghai University researchers have proved that some areas are still inhabited by the leopard cat, a wild cat with a spotted fur that makes it resemble a mini leopard. Have a look to the video (that anyway talks about the leopard cat in Miaoli County).
How to Get to Zhu Keng Liao Nan
Being a loop, you can start the trail from the lower part, toward Longjing or the upper part, uphill. In the map both these points are indicated.
Anyway we always started the trail from the top, the upper part.
In this case the start of the trail is located at a circular pond ornamented by two dragons, just in front of a temple. The nearest bus stop is in front of another large temple and close to a 7/11 (Qiao Sheng Xian Shi Temple – 巧聖先師), at about 1.5 km uphill, on the main Youyuan South Road. Buses #323 and #325 stop there. They both originate from Taichung Main Railway Station.