Mon, Dec 04, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Yunlin County town unveils hiking paths for elderly visitors

REWARDING STROLLS:Gukeng Township set out seven new trails that are only between 1km and 3km long, but lead past several famous waterfalls

By Huang Shu-li and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Yunlin County’s Gukeng Township Office (古坑) has unveiled seven officially recommended tourist hiking paths through the scenic mountain areas of Caoling (草嶺) and Shihbi (石壁) that would feature distinctive sights and healthy cuisine.

The paths are planned for visitors’ enjoyment and their lengths of between 1km and 3km are ideal for the whole family, including elderly people, Gukeng Mayor Huang Yi-ling (黃意玲) said.

The office frequently inspects and repairs the footpaths in its jurisdiction, Huang said, adding that the office drew up the recommended routes to suit older tourists.

The Caoling area’s natural landscape, ecology and scenery make the township a perennial favorite for hikers, she said, adding that retirees frequently visit the township in tour groups by bus.

The county’s Linnei Township Library (林內) has organized a tour of Gukeng’s Penglai Waterfall (蓬萊瀑布) and the promontory named Great Steep Wall (峭壁雄風) for its elderly members, Caoling Tourism Association chairman Liu Wen-fang (劉文房) said.

The group enjoyed Gukeng’s distinctive natural products, including coffee, aiyu (愛玉冰) jelly and hawthorn fruit sweetmeats, Liu said.

A 91-year-old visitor said they particularly enjoyed the hike up the Great Steep Wall, Liu said.

Each season presents a different aspect of Caoling’s and Shihbi’s scenery and the area is Yunlin’s secret garden, Caolin Village Warden Chen Ping-tung (陳兵通) said.

In addition to hiking and sightseeing activities in the area’s forests, the village and township governments are developing rowing, tree climbing and other activities for visitors, Chen said.

The township’s 2km-long No. 1 hiking path links Penglai Waterfall, Shihbisiangu (石壁仙谷), Youlonghu (遊龍湖) and a walkway near a local ancient crape myrtle tree.

The 2km-long No. 2 hiking path connects Shihbi’s Ficus pumila, coffee and shiitake mushroom-producing areas.

The 1km-long No. 3 hiking path links the Wuyuan Erjiao (五元二角) Pavilions and Syuelingjhihciou (雲嶺之丘).

The No. 4 tongsin (同心) and No. 5 tongsie (通學) hiking paths are 1.5km and 1km long, respectively.

The No. 6 path links the visitors’ center, Youcinggu (幽情谷), Water Curtain Cave (水濂洞), the Frog Rock (青蛙石) and a footpath near the area’s tea trees.

The No. 7 path is a 3km circular path linking Longsing Temple, Cihming Temple and the Great Steep Wall.

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