Guanwu National Forest Recreation

    Guanwu (Fog-Watching) National Forest Recreation Area is situated in Wufen Township near Hsinchu and Taian Townships in Miaoli, upstream of Daan and Tochien Rivers. This 907-hectare area ranges in elevation from 2,000 to 2,500 meters above sea level and is constantly enveloped by fog and clouds. Its climate is cool in winter and warm in summer with a mean annual temperature of13oC. In summer, it is the best place to visit in northern Taiwan.

    Except for the area immediately surrounding the Guanwu cabins, most of this area is hilly. Due to its open terrain, visitors can enjoy an impressive view of endless peaks. This “Holy Ridgeline” of the Snow Mountain range makes for a stunning landscape. Among all of the mountains, the barrel-shaped Dabajian Mountain has been deemed the “Summit of the Century.” Although there are few waterfalls at mid-high elevation in Taiwan, the impressive 30-meter high Guanwu Waterfall beneath the giant trees is an example of one. In the afternoon, this misty area is usually enveloped by fog and clouds. At times, the fog produces an almost mysterious atmosphere, and at others, low fog produces a beautiful ocean of clouds. Masses of clouds, mountains, and forests make up the typical landscape in Formosa. Guanwu is like a microcosm of this gorgeous Formosan view.

Address : Meiyuan Village, Taian Township, Miaoli County Tel : (037) 272-917 Opening hours : 07:00~17:00 Admission :Due to typhoon damage, the Dalu Forest Trail is temporarily closed. Note :Guanwu is in a controlled access area. Visitors need to bring ID and apply for a permit to enter the mountain area.

 

Ecological Description

    In this cool temperate climate, Japanese Cedar and Formosan Red Cypress grow in a vast area of natural forest. Formosan Red Cypress, Taiwanese Yellow Cypress, Hemlock, Taiwanese Red Pine, Formosan Alder, Castanopsis carlesii, and Wheel Trees make up this rich forest ecosystem. Among the largest trees, there are five ancient sky-reaching Formosan Red Cypress. Among the already world-renown giant Red Cypress forests, these are the most remarkable. Here, visitors can even gaze up at the largest forest of purely Taiwanese Sassafras in Taiwan! The climate in this area alternates between dry and humid. This unique climate fosters the flowering season of the three tree flowers: Formosan Azalea, Taiwanese Azalea, Yushan Azalea, and Taiwan Cherry, as well as herbaceous flowers, among which the most unique one is the “Touch-Me-Not”(Impatiens. Devolii). The Wushe Cherry trees near the cabins are the most beautiful in Taiwan. Its snow-white blossoms are exceptionally splendid in March when the leaves fall.

    In northern Taiwan, Guanwu is considered the premier birdwatchers’ haven because 99 bird species, including several endangered and endemic species, inhabit this area. The abundance of songbirds, such as thrushes and warblers, form a lovely chorus. When strolling along the misty trail, visitors often catch sight of the rare, precious, and elegant Mikado’s Pheasant walking about or foraging. Another species worthy of special attention is the living fossil, “Guanwu Formosan Salamander,” which has existed for over 1.8 billion years. It was discovered in 1996 and formally named in 2008. Guanwu is also a moth haven since giant moths such as the Giant Silkworm Moth and the Luna Moth usually appear after dark.

 

    Mountains, waterfalls, forest, fog, snow, giant trees, flowers, birds and moths make up the typical landscape of Guanwu. These images attract domestic and international visitors interested in mountainclimbing, hiking, birdwatching, painting, taking photos, researching, and simply developing a better understanding of the area. The purity and harmony of Guanwu makes it a recreational area of superior quality and one of the most valuable ecosystems in Taiwan.

 

sources:http://recreation.forest.gov.tw/RA_En_JP/0200004/RA_En-05.htm