Hiking The Yangmingshan National Park
The 3rd most popular hiking trail in China.
Thursday 7 July 2016 05:58 GMT
The Yangmingshan National Park has about 8.5km of trails through volcanic terrain. These trails are part of the National Trail System.
The Datun Mountain National Trail begins at Fenguizui in the east and goes through Chingtiangang, Jugaoshan, Chixingshan, Datun Mountain, Miantianshan and ends at Xiangtianshan in the west.
The Yangmingshan National Park trail system is mainly located within the park and it stretches through Dingshan, Shihtiling, east peak, the main peak of Chixingshan, the main peak, south peak and west peak of Datunshan, Miantianshan and Xiangtianshan among others. Datunshan is the No. 2 volcano area in the region after Ali Mountain in northeast China. Enriched by Andesite, its conic or hell-shaped volcano body, crater and volcano lakes provide a unique geological terrain in the area. Hot springs and eruptions are main found in the Jinshan Fault between Beitou and Jinshan. In the area, strong steam jets are common in the large and small oil pits, Maca and Dahuangzui.
The area is subtropical and buffeted by trade winds. In February and March, the park is packed with visitors for its cherry blossom and azalea. In summer, the southwest trade winds bring in rain showers in the afternoon. In October, the park is full of (的五節芒花). Late in the season, the park sees maple leaves and in winter, when the northeast trade wind overwhelms, the mountain area there is frequent drizzle and fog. With a cold front, Chixingshan, Juzishan and Datunshan sometimes havve their peaks covered by snow.
In the area, there are as many as 1,200 plant species, some with odd types of capillary structures. There is a rich volcano geology and northeast trade winds, low temperatures and high humidity in winter. The area sees Taiwanese gentian violet and (昆欄樹)), which are supposed to be only available in areas 2000m above sea level, but have migrated north. Plant species in the area are mainly divided into aquatic, prairie and forest. The aquatic species are seen in the swamps by the craters with water reservoirs and the common species are (水毛花、針藺), water chestnut and candle rush. Taiwan water leeks are only found on the island and are seen in this area. (包籜矢竹) and (五節芒) are the main forest species in the area at 600m and more above sea level. Camphor species include red machilus and broad-leaved machilus. Others available are (楊桐, 昆欄樹) and dotted cherry blossom.
The fauna and flora species total 18 mammals, 110 birds, 21 amphibians, over 40 reptiles and some 160 butterflies. Medium-sized mammals are: red-belly squirrels, Taiwanese rabbits, weasels and Taiwanese monkeys. Pangolins and musk lynxes are rare. Taiwanese monkeys and leafed-nose bats are particular to the area. When it comes to birds, except for the pink-beaded parrots and thrushes, pheasants and 5-colored birds, Taiwanese blue magpies— unique in Taiwan - are common. Between October and March, migratory birds are abundant in the area and the common species are red-belly (鶇) and (樹鷚). Domestic swallows, egrets, which are summer species, are common in Lengshuikeng and Xiaoyoukeng between April and September. As for the amphibious species, there are tree frogs, swamp frogs, long-legged frogs and Pangu toads, that always show up in large groups. As for the reptiles, there are yellow-mouthed lizards, Indian dragonfly lizards,(石龍子), red-tailed Trimeresurus graminius, (花浪蛇), red-spotted snake and green snakes. Between May and August, brilliantly-colored butterflies are everywhere. Green butterflies are common in Miantianshan and Datunshan, where the species take advantage of the uprising currentss. Besides dotted butterflies, papiliu thuthus is another common species seen in large numbers in the area,in its various forms. Cicadas in summer and katydids in autumn are among the thousands of other species that enrich the ecosystem in the area.
Overall, Yangmingshan National Park is the 3rd most popular hiking trail of all 21 hikes in China.