The Cuifeng Lake Circular Trail (翠峰湖環山步道) in the mountains of Yilan County was certified as the world’s first Quiet Trail by international non-profit Quiet Parks International (QPI) yesterday.
The special recognition coincided with World Listening Day.
In a statement on its Web site, QPI said that the 3.95km trail, which circles Taiwan’s largest alpine lake, is surrounded by a dense cypress forest and thick moss that act like layers of natural sound-absorbing foam.
Photo courtesy of the Forestry Bureau
“As a result, it feels like a natural audio control room. Far from the hubbub of human-caused noise, the lowest measured volume is fewer than 25 decibels, which is almost silent,” it said.
Forestry Bureau officials, Tayal indigenous people from the area and Laila Fan (范欽慧), an expert in audio recordings of nature, took part in a ceremony in Taipei yesterday with QPI representatives joining via videoconference.
Cuifeng Lake is between Dayuan Mountain (大元山) and Taiping Mountain (太平山), while the trail follows an old Japanese-era train track for logging trees, Forestry Bureau official Hsiao Chung-jen (蕭崇仁) said.
Photo courtesy of the Forestry Bureau
“As it is a long hike, most tourists hike the wood-plank trail at 300m following the lake’s margin to take in the beautiful scenery, then they depart so the quietness on the trail is preserved,” he said.
Fan first made audio recordings at Cuifeng Lake over a decade ago, then she started collaborating with the Forestry Bureau in June 2014.
Fan spent more than a year surveying the Taiping Mountain region and making audio recordings of all the hiking trails in the area, resulting in her finding the “silent forest” at Cuifeng Lake.
“The quietness does not mean dead silence. This trail emanates with sounds of nature. For Taiwan’s highly dense population that we can still have the world’s very first certified ‘Quiet Trail,’ this has much special meaning,” Forestry Bureau Director Lin Hua-ching (林華慶) said.
QPI’s awards program recognizes quiet urban and wilderness parks and trails with the purpose of building awareness about the importance of preserving quiet places.
Taipei’s Yangmingshan National Park was designated as the world’s first Urban Quiet Park in 2020.
Additional reporting by CNA
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of