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東眼山 (Dong yan shan)

posted by Martin Rubli at 11:05

Two months ago, in preparation for our 雙北 biking trip, we had biked to 東眼山 (Dong yan shan). To be more precise, only to the entrance of the 東眼山國家森林遊樂區 (Dong yan shan National Forest Recreational Area) because there's nothing to see inside if you're sitting on a bike. Anyway, the area looked so nice at the time that I figured on this long weekend (Moon festival) I could take Ivy there by scooter for a bit of hiking to the top of the mountain.

We were a bit skeptical at first regarding the weather but we ended up lucky since the sky up in 桃園 (Taoyuan) was less cloudy than back home. The view at the top is great indeed but I'll let you see for yourself:


The head of the 東眼山志繼山步道 (Dong yan shan & Zhi ji shan hiking trail) is located along 成福道路 (Cheng fu road) about 1-2 kilometers before the entrance to the 東眼山國家森林遊樂區 (Dong yan shan National Forest Recreation Area).

The head of the 東眼山志繼山步道 (Dong yan shan & Zhi ji shan hiking trail) is located along 成福道路 (Cheng fu road) about 1-2 kilometers before the entrance to the 東眼山國家森林遊樂區 (Dong yan shan National Forest Recreation Area).

There are two places where the trail would be very easy to miss if it weren't for the omnipresent little flags that hiking clubs hang as part of a little "been there" tagging game.

There are two places where the trail would be very easy to miss if it weren't for the omnipresent little flags that hiking clubs hang as part of a little "been there" tagging game.

Not the entire trail is that hard to follow. Most of it looks something like this.

Not the entire trail is that hard to follow. Most of it looks something like this.

Even though the trail runs along the ridge, which, incidentally, is the border between 桃園縣 (Taoyuan county) and 新北市 (New Taipei city), there are not many places where you get a view because of the dense vegetation. Once in a while, though, there will be a tree missing and you can see the view, complete with one of the many beautiful butterflies.

Even though the trail runs along the ridge, which, incidentally, is the border between 桃園縣 (Taoyuan county) and 新北市 (New Taipei city), there are not many places where you get a view because of the dense vegetation. Once in a while, though, there will be a tree missing and you can see the view, complete with one of the many beautiful butterflies.

The top of 志繼山 (Zhi ji shan), roughly half an hour from the trail head. Unfortunately there's nothing to see here, so for the view you have to keep going to 東眼山 (Dong yan shan).

The top of 志繼山 (Zhi ji shan), roughly half an hour from the trail head. Unfortunately there's nothing to see here, so for the view you have to keep going to 東眼山 (Dong yan shan).

The trail is apparently not very well frequented, so I had to wield a stick in front of my body the entire time to avoid collecting spiders and their sticky homes.

The trail is apparently not very well frequented, so I had to wield a stick in front of my body the entire time to avoid collecting spiders and their sticky homes.

At this point we entered the 東眼山國家森林遊樂區 (Dong yan shan National Forest Recreational Area) where the nature trails make way to stairs and other overdeveloped trail forms. There's a little pavilion along the way that provides a bit of the view. Still not beautiful enough though, so we kept going ...

At this point we entered the 東眼山國家森林遊樂區 (Dong yan shan National Forest Recreational Area) where the nature trails make way to stairs and other overdeveloped trail forms. There's a little pavilion along the way that provides a bit of the view. Still not beautiful enough though, so we kept going ...

The stairs leading up to 東眼山 (Dong yan shan).

The stairs leading up to 東眼山 (Dong yan shan).

The entrance to the lookout platform on top of 東眼山 (Dong yan shan). It's not exactly reassuring to see a "Only 5 people at a time on the stairs" sign but we've crossed weaker looking bridges on our previous hikes, so it didn't scare us off.

The entrance to the lookout platform on top of 東眼山 (Dong yan shan). It's not exactly reassuring to see a "Only 5 people at a time on the stairs" sign but we've crossed weaker looking bridges on our previous hikes, so it didn't scare us off.

Finally at the top we asked a nice yet geographically slightly challenged couple to take a picture of us. I call for better geography education in Taiwan! :-)

Finally at the top we asked a nice yet geographically slightly challenged couple to take a picture of us. I call for better geography education in Taiwan! :-)

The view at the top is indeed rewarding because you can see all the way to Taipei. It's not clear on the picture but you can see 觀音山 (Guan yin shan), 陽明山 (Yang ming shan), and even Taipei 101 with your bare eyes.

The view at the top is indeed rewarding because you can see all the way to Taipei. It's not clear on the picture but you can see 觀音山 (Guan yin shan), 陽明山 (Yang ming shan), and even Taipei 101 with your bare eyes.

Looking southwards we only saw a big cloud creeping over the higher mountains in the distance. Judging from Google Earth you might be able to see 雪山 (Xue shan) on a clear day.

Looking southwards we only saw a big cloud creeping over the higher mountains in the distance. Judging from Google Earth you might be able to see 雪山 (Xue shan) on a clear day.

According to the map the 東眼山步道 (Dong yan shan hiking trail) actually continues towards the East, so that you can eventually reach 拉卡山 (La ka shan) and 雙溪山 (Shuang xi shan). Indeed, the trail does continue if you pass the stairs and under the view platform. If this overgrown little sign is any indicator at all 拉卡山 (La ka shan) can be reached in 160 minutes and 雙溪山 (Shuang xi shan) in 200 minutes. Going there and coming back would be a solid one-day hike, so I guess we'll save that for some other day.

According to the map the 東眼山步道 (Dong yan shan hiking trail) actually continues towards the East, so that you can eventually reach 拉卡山 (La ka shan) and 雙溪山 (Shuang xi shan). Indeed, the trail does continue if you pass the stairs and under the view platform. If this overgrown little sign is any indicator at all 拉卡山 (La ka shan) can be reached in 160 minutes and 雙溪山 (Shuang xi shan) in 200 minutes. Going there and coming back would be a solid one-day hike, so I guess we'll save that for some other day.

Having enjoyed the view we went back down the stairs where the triangulation point is (interestingly enough not in the highest point) and enjoyed our lunch in the shade.

Having enjoyed the view we went back down the stairs where the triangulation point is (interestingly enough not in the highest point) and enjoyed our lunch in the shade.

The way down is even fancier than the way up. And the closer we got to the park's tourist information center the clearer it became that this is where city people take their kids to "see nature".

The way down is even fancier than the way up. And the closer we got to the park's tourist information center the clearer it became that this is where city people take their kids to "see nature".

There's something to be said for the design of their bathroom, both inside ...

There's something to be said for the design of their bathroom, both inside ...

... and outside.

... and outside.

The last few hundred meters between the park's entrance and the restaurant look like this. And sure enough you can see people with high heels getting their few hours worth' of nature. :-)

If you're like me and always give people the benefit of the doubt you might be disappointed here: I suspected this might be the wheelchair-accessible section of their forest trail, but alas, shortly after a flight of stairs set an end to that thought.

The last few hundred meters between the park's entrance and the restaurant look like this. And sure enough you can see people with high heels getting their few hours worth' of nature. :-)

If you're like me and always give people the benefit of the doubt you might be disappointed here: I suspected this might be the wheelchair-accessible section of their forest trail, but alas, shortly after a flight of stairs set an end to that thought.

In their tourist center they have a bunch of cute animals made from the forest's ingredients.

In their tourist center they have a bunch of cute animals made from the forest's ingredients.

After exiting the park area we had to walk along 成福道路 (Cheng fu road) for about twenty minutes to get back to our scooter. Traffic was very light though ...

After exiting the park area we had to walk along 成福道路 (Cheng fu road) for about twenty minutes to get back to our scooter. Traffic was very light though ...

... and the approaching sunset made for a nice view.

... and the approaching sunset made for a nice view.

For reference, here's a picture of the park map. Click here for a bigger version.

For reference, here's a picture of the park map. [local:/gallery/data/dong-yan-shan/images/original/20110709-110418_MR9835_Z750.jpg Click here for a bigger version].

And, as always, the track log:


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