February 26th–February 28th 2023 (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday)
Fenrui Historic Trail to Ruitai Historic Trail
Two important historic trade trails which were carved by years of enterprising aboriginals carrying bamboo, mushrooms, and coal to trade with the outside world. Runners will pass by Fenchihu lake and enter the Fenrui Historic trail and immediately be engulfed by a famous Alishan scene of bamboo forest drowning in a cloud of fog. You will feel as if you are in a Chinese martial arts film. Flying through the forest trail with bamboo trees on both sides, navigating over fallen wooden logs, while listening to the crackle of leaves down under; on to the next destination.
Traveling north, we reach the top of Dadongshan at 1976 meters above sea. With 360 views of the area, runners will be encouraged to stop for a breather and take in the scenery. From here, the trail can take explorers further up towards Jade Mountain, and is also highly rated as the best spot to watch the sunrise in Taiwan. Maybe you can come back to experience that another day, as the race must go on.
Bat Cave and Swallow’s Cliff
While passing through the Qingnianling Trail, the race will take runners through a bat cave and swallow’s cliff, both famous locales within Alishan. Playing an important part of the ecology of Alishan, the bats and swallows manage the mountain’s insect population while providing natural fertilizers to the many plants in the area. Runners will pass through these caves and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites caused by millenniums of natural erosion.
On the second day, runners will begin by running up the Mt. Sitianwang trail towards Shueisheliao station. This station tells the origin story of Taiwan’s first rubber business. Runners will pass through the Shueisheliao Station to Fenqihu on a 180-degree horseshoe curve which will take you towards higher elevation as we continue the race.
Once past Sheisheliao station, a strenuous climb from 400m to 1400m awaits as runners will pass through another forest. Enter the resting place of the Chinese Fir and Japanese Cedar trees, spot the Formosa conifer, endemic to Taiwan, and if lucky, the flicker and glow of the resting firefly.
Onwards to the next campsite at Alishan Township, runners will need to navigate through the Mihu Trail. A funny play on words, Mihu means to be lost. Runners will indeed feel lost in a green world of fireflies, butterflies, and ancient trees like the bishop tree. Bird watchers can spot the colourful Taiwan barbet and the Taiwan Yuhina, both endemic to Taiwan. Now rest, refuel, and get ready for the next day of challenges.
Up the strenuous Dinghudi trail towards what was once ocean bedrock. Having spent millennia underwater, this ancient land was once a lake in the ocean. Runners will be rewarded with a unique experience to touch shoulders with fossilized sea creatures while being thousands of meters above land.
At an elevation of 1696 meters above the sea, Leyeshan is the highest point of Dingshizuo. The aboriginal Cou people call this the LaLauya mountains, in Chinese, this play on words means to enjoy the trail. Heading south, back towards Shizao, to complete the loop.
The race begins in Shizhao, a spot famous to the aboriginal Cou tribe. Legend has it that Hamo, the God that created the Cou tribe, once appeared on a flat tabletop rock here, hence the name Shizhao, which in mandarin translates to rock table. Runners will pass beautiful manicured Alishan tea plantations, and with the broad mountainous horizon in site, runners can take in the views of the Cou tribe. Emerging from lower elevation tropical forest to the subtropical and finally climbing to the more temperate regions above 1800M as runners make their way to Mt. Pili.
For all the details on Superace Alishan, click here.