Visit ‘Trail of Ferns’ in Taiwan’s Yushan National Park

Today visitors can see cultural relics along the trail, such as curb stones, embankments, and suspension bridges

(George Liao photo)

(George Liao photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Walami Trail is located within the eastern boundary of the Yushan National Park.

Walami means ferns in Japanese, and the name reflects the abundance of the plants along the trail.

In contrast to views of high mountains n other parts of the national park, the landscape along the trail is dominated by low-to-medium altitude river valleys, as well as broad-leaved evergreen forests. The gentle terrain, shade created by the dense forests, and the waterfalls along the trail attract multitudes of visitors to the pathway.

Walking upward along the winding trail, visitors can see jute, Taiwan walnut, and other broad-leaved trees, as well as ferns which thrive in a humid environment. As the abundant flora here has nourished rich fauna, visitors will have a chance to encounter Taiwan' tree-dwelling macaques, the Formosan Reeve's muntjac, and the Taiwan blue pheasant.

The area also has the largest number of Formosan black bears in Taiwan. If you happen to see one, please keep your distance and don't disturb it.

The geological landscape is also an attractive characteristic, as the geology of this area is made up of the oldest rock strata on the island. Rock strata jutting out from the cliff faces bordering the trail are representative of the ecological charm of the land.

Water plays an important role in shaping the landform of this area. In addition to the Lakulaku River that flows deep below the trail, visitors hiking along the trail will come across flying waterfalls and fast running mountain streams, of which the Shanfong Waterfall alongside the namesake suspension bridge is the most spectacular.

In addition to the abundant natural resources, this area was part of the living space of the Bunun tribe in the past. The Walami Trail was part of the cross-island Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道) built in the Qing Dynasty and improved during Japanese rule to strengthen control over the mountainous area.

Today, visitors can see cultural relics along the trail, such as curb stones, embankments, and suspension bridges. Even though all the police substations put in place by the Japanese have totally disappeared, their sites have been transformed into flat spaces for visitors to ponder the the old days.

(All George Liao photo)