Shuang Liou Forest Recreation Area 雙流森林遊樂區
Shuang Liou is in Pingtung 屏東 County, along the Southern Highway 南迴公路. I have driven by it many times on my way to the other side of Taiwan, but I hadn't been inside there until two weeks ago, when these pictures were taken.
These are, I'm sure, not the best pictures of Shuang Liou. It was cloudy, cold, and windy that day, and I'm sure that in the sunshine it would look twice as good. We enjoyed our visit there, but we kept thinking that it would be more scenic in the spring.
Shuang Liou is very close to the county line dividing Taitung from Pingtung. Between Da Ren Township 達仁鄉 and Shr Dze Township 獅子鄉, the Southern Highway rises to a peak where one can turn off onto Highway 199, and just west of that peak is Shuang Liou. It is a very remote area.
It costs 100 NT to enter Shuang Liou, though it is cheaper for Pingtung residents. A small road leads to the entrance, and it is there that you pay your fee and receive a map. Further inside there is a large parking area, and from there a few trails lead off into the surrounding mountains.
We took the trail up Hat Mountain 帽子山, though we didn't make it all the way to the top. We hiked about an hour in, and then my daughters decided they were tired and we had to turn back. From the halfway point on that trail there are some excellent views of the river valley, and I think the view from the top would be better still. Hat Mountain sits just above the west coast, and on a clear day it probably offers views all the way down into Kenting 墾丁.
Another trail leads to a waterfall, but we didn't take that one. I would like to go back there and walk it sometime soon. A third trail leads to a visitor center, and behind the visitor center this trail winds up into the mountains. This third trail was under repair during our visit.
As forest recreation areas go, Shuang Liou is QUIET. Our car was the only car in the parking lot, and during our multi-hour visit I only saw three other people there. Compared to the Jer Ben 知本forest recreation area, Shuang Liou is all but unknown.
Just the same, it's a nice place to walk around. If you are traveling on the Southern Highway and the weather's good, I would suggest visiting Shuang Liou. I plan on going back there after spring has arrived.
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