Taipei famous Sishoushan (Four Beasts Mountain) consists of four popular hiking trails: Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain), Hushan (Tiger Mountain), Shishan (Lion Mountain), and Baoshan (Leopard Mountain). These mountains belong to the Nangangshan system, which covers the areas of Nangang and Xinyi District. Because of the location and convenient public transportation, the hiking trails become wonderful places for the citizens to run away from the hustle and bustle during the weekends.
Hushan Hiking Trail locates near Houshanpi MRT Station. The trailhead is about 15-minute-walk away from exit 2. Visitors could also take bus BL10, 257, 263, 286, 286Sub, 651, or 88Shuttle, and get off at “Fude Elementary School” stop. A huge signboard marked “四獸山市民森林 (Sishoushan Public Forest)” stands in front of the trailhead. Behind the signboard, there are two ways to reach the mountaintop. The right one is flat and well paved with granite. And a stream flows quietly beside the trail. If visitors take the left one, they would have to climb the stairs up the hill.
Apart from relaxing oneself in the forest, the creatures and geological landscapes are also worth the hikers’ attention. During the Qing Dynasty, Hushan had been under reclamation. Thus, most indigenous vegetation covers had been ruined. It was not until 40, 50 years ago, Taiwan Acacias are planted to conserve soil and water and provide firewood for the locals. Recently, due to the declining demand of firewood, these Taiwan Acacias has taken on new roles—a natural canopy for the seed of the indigenous plants to germinate beneath. That’s when the forest around Hushan Hiking Trail starts recovering from the ruin.
The strata of Hushan consists of sandstones and, which originate from the South China Continent. The thick massive sandstones and shales of different thickness overlap each other. And they could be dated back to Miocene 22 million years ago. Inside the strata bury fossils of forams, shellfish, sea urchins, all of which serves as evidence for connection between Hushan and the sea.
There’re a lot more to see along the Hushan Hiking Trail. Come and explore yourself! It would be a great relaxation to spend a weekend afternoon here!