The Lushui Trail
Note: this trail is only partially open as of March 2020, but we will update our site once the trail is open again. Regardless, do not hesitate to ask our staff for the latest information.
Want to visit Zhuilu Old Trail but did not apply for a permit? You can opt for Lushui instead. This trail does not require a permit but offers a very similar experience as Zhuilu.
The 2 km Lushui Trail is rated for beginners and offers an easy, enjoyable, and family-friendly hike through beautiful scenery, foliage, and offers some history of the gorge. The western entrance starts at the Lushui Geological Exhibition Center which highlights the formation of the gorge. The museum is closed between noon - 1 pm. Information markers along the trail point out endemic plant and bird species and some of the trails history. The trail is built along a cliff overlooking the Cross-Island Highway and the Liwu River with views of the Lushui Terrace in the distance.
The trail was originally part of the Cross-Hehuan Mountain Road, created by the Japanese police forces. It features a memorial stone commemorating the accidental deaths of 4 policemen during the Japanese Occupation period at the beginning of the 20th century.
Camphor trees - a tropical evergreen tree native to Taiwan - add an amazingly fresh, green scent to the trail. The Taroko Oaks seen here are only found growing in rocky gorges in Eastern Taiwan. There are many examples of lithophytes - plants growing on rocks that live off of nutrients from rainwater and nearby decaying plants - and mushrooms.
A well-marked split in the trail will lead you to the exit at the Heliu Campground (also known as the eastern entrance to the trail). The other trail at this point - the Lushui-Wenshan Trail - is 5.5 km long with an intermediate rating. The Heliu Campground features the Yu Fei Pavilion with excellent views of the waterfalls of the Liwu River. There is also a small suspension bridge across the river overlooking the Liwu Valley.
There is a 30M un-lit tunnel section along the route, so bring a flashlight or mobile phone light for this section. To camp, you will need to call 03-8691359 - campsite operations are outsourced by the park.