Nature and Ecology
Explore pristine natural environments:
the tranquil gardens beyond the city
Greater Taichung backs onto mountains and is beside the sea; the west coast is dozens of kilometers long and has sandbanks, stony beaches, wetlands, and tidal zones, where the rising and ebbing of the tide nurtures a rich natural ecology.
In the east there are high mountains and forests, full of wildlife and covered with lush vegetation, where high quality fruit and vegetables are grown all year round, and where there surprises at every turn. Visitors can visit both the mountains and coast, explore the beauty of nature, and enjoy a relaxing LOHAS trip.
Best time for birdwatching: June-February
The Gaomei Wetlands are located on the south side of the Dajia River Estuary in Qingshui.
Over 120 species of bird have been recorded here and it is an important ecological conservation area.
It is not large but because it has both mud flats and sand beaches and is also connected to the estuary’s swamp area it contains a rich variety of flora and fauna.
It also offers beautiful sunsets over a unique manmade landscape ─ Gaomei Lighthouse and wind turbines.
A cycle track runs through the area on which riders may coast with the wind in their hair: the Gaomei Wetlands are one of the highlights of the shore.
Dongshi Forest Garden
Best time for flower-viewing: Spring, summer, autumn
Dongshi Forest Garden is known as the Yangmingshan of central Taiwan and is the most beautiful forest garden in the region. Its main features are the forest that changes in appearances every season and various kinds of flowers that can be seen throughout the year.
In spring sakura, plum blossoms, peach blossoms, apricot blossom and chrysanthemums take it in turns to take the stage. In summer, it is the turn of the tong flowers, the fallen flowers creating a snowy scene, with Crape myrtle flowers, Hong Kong orchid tree flowers and Common Melastoma, all competing for attention.
In autumn, the yellow leaves of the tung oil tree and the red leaves of the Chinese Sweet gum decorate the forest; in winter, the bare branches left after the leaves have been shed create a scene of desolate beauty.
Guguan Hot Springs
Best time for a springs bath: Summer (cold spring), winter (hot spring)
Guguan is situated amidst rugged terrain, the high mountain peaks reaching to the sky. The hot springs flow from between the rocks at the foot of the mountains all year round. Due to the high sulfur content the air is filled with a pungent smell of sulfur when close to the springs. It is said that after bathing here the Meiji emperor of Japan had a son, leading to the springs being nicknamed “Son Springs.”
The springs are Na H C O 3; the water is clear and gentle and can be used for bathing or drinking. It has a therapeutic effect for arthritis, nerve pain and other ailments; its efficacy is highly regarded by visitors.
Lishan Scenic Area
Best time for flower-viewing: March, April
Lishan Scenic Area lies on the western section of the Central Cross-Island Highway, adjacent to Hsuepa and Taroko National Parks, and includes three main recreational systems: Guguan, Lishan and Siyuan Yakou. Siyuan Yakou is located on Provincial Highway A.
Take the highway, passing through Huanshan village, to visit Wuling Farm. Here you can experience Atayal culture as well as see the rare indigenous fish, the Formosa landlocked salmon, and the distinctive geology of the region and other natural wonders. March and April every year Lishan Flower Season is held and, in August, the Guguan Hot Spring Cultural Festival is held.
Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area
Best season for flower viewing: early autumn
This national forest recreation area is located at the back of the south-westerly main ridge of the Xueshan mountain range. From the high point of Xiao Xue Mountain, the ridge stretches to the southwest, including Anma Mountain, Chuanxing Mountain and Xiaolai Mountain, down to the Xiaolai Creek gorge at around 1000 meters in elevation. Due to encompassing different elevation zones the area has a richly diverse forest and has 218 plant species, with the hemlock spruce and Japanese Anisetree the main tree species. The warm, temperate, and frigid forest zones each have their own distinctive appearance. This area was a major logging center in earlier times.
Dakeng Scenic Area
Best time to view fireflies:April, May, July, August
Dakeng has many species of deciduous tree. When the dry season changes to the wet season, their golden yellow leaves are shed and cover the ground, creating a beautiful scene that parallels that of Ouwanda in autumn, making the scenic area a popular place for recreation and forest showers. Dakeng is Taichung’s most beautiful back garden and has ten well-planned forest trails and a shopping area that offers a variety of tasty foods. The trails have pavilions that offer a shaded place to rest. Climb up high to enjoy bird’s eye views of the surrounding area At weekends and holiday times the scenic area attracts many visitors.
Dadu Estuary Wildlife Refuge
Best time for birdwatching: October to July
The Dadu River Estuary is the largest water bird habitat in central Taiwan. It is located on the boundary between Taichung City and Changhua County . There are sand banks on both sides that are the home to many creatures and which are the favorite places of water birds to feed, giving the estuary the highest density and largest number of birds in Taiwan. Many of the birds found here are protected and it has been listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as one of the most important wetlands in Asia. October to May is the best time for bird watching at Dadu River Estuary.
Artisans’ Home Leisure Farming Area
Rush harvesting season: Spring
This name derives from the time when the reed weaving industry was at its peak and this was the home of master weavers , renowned throughout Taiwan. Artisans' Rest combines local country scenery and an experience of nature, as well as offering a chance to use a traditional farming household earth oven. It also offers reed mat weaving and farming experiences, traditional rice foods, straw making demonstrations, wan mian facial hair plucking and has a gravel beach.
The rich human and natural landscape give visitors a taste of simple country life and the fun of nature conservation.
Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area
Best time to view cherry blossoms: January-February
Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area was once one of the three main logging centers of Taiwan. Jiabaotai, at the foot of the mountain, is renowned as one of the “eight scenic views of Taiwan.” The area has three forest trails that begin at Basian Lodge car park. One trail follows Shiwen Creek to its upper reaches. The recreation area is surrounded by peaks covered by lush forest. Here, rare birds can be seen and it is also where two famous springs, Shiwen Creek and Jiabao Creek, meet. The creek water is crystal clear and the water sweet. The reflection of the forest in the creeks creates a beautiful vision.