Mianyue Line – 眠月線
Winding through a mystical forest in Alishan National Forest is a trail that leaves a lasting impression on hikers. The 9-kilometer (one-way) Mian Yue hiking trail traverses a mix of old-growth and secondary forests and has become one of the most popular hiking routes over the years due to its seclusion and unique cultural heritage. The Mianyue Line (眠月線) in Alishan National Forest Recreation Area in Chiayi County features a number of elevated bridges, tunnels and historical sites.
History of Mianyue Line (眠月線)
Development of the Mianyue Line as a forest rail service began in 1913 and reaches from Alishan New Station and ends at Shihou Station. Officially completed and opened to traffic in 1915 and the Mianyue Line became one of the two main lines of the Alishan Linchang Railway.
In 1999, the infamous 921 Earthquake rocked the country of Taiwan. The earthquake severely damaged the rail line with several sections collapsing. The Mianyue Line ultimately closed indefinitely. Since then the hiking trail has become popular with hikers in Taiwan looking to explore one of the more picturesque trails that also boasts a truly rare aura and mystic not found on many other hiking trails in Taiwan.
The Taiwan Pleione (Pleione Formosana) is a beautiful perennial of the orchid family. Despite being very difficult to cultivate outside of its natural environment, the Taiwan Pleione has been a steady victim of thievery. The establishment of the Alishan Taiwan Pleione Nature Preserve, which the Mianyue Line traverses was created as a protective conservation measure. The small preserve also houses other rare plants, such as the Taiwan sassafras, Alishan mahonia, and Taiwan Douglas Fir.
Hiking the Mianyue Line (眠月線)
For hikers looking to explore the Mianyue Line in Taiwan, they must apply for entry permits five to 60 days in advance. When booking this trip with Parkbus Taiwan, we will submit the applications for our guests. The permits have been capped at 300 a day for the Mianyue Line (眠月線) .
The trail has a total length of just over 9km (18km return), however, there is a short section from the bus drop off location to the trailhead itself. The trail is well maintained and is, for the most part, not a technically difficult hike. There are many original trestle bridge crossings that have no safety railings and hikers should practice safe hiking during these areas.
One section of a Mianyue Line tunnel has completely collapse (see image above) and requires hikers to scramble and use hand ropes/chains to traverse. (Note: Guests are asked to use extra caution during this section and only pass if they are confident they have the ability to do so.). There are also several old train tunnels that hikers will be required to walk through, which really adds to the appeal of this hike.