This 18km Qing-dynasty road once started at Fangliao and crossed the entire southern part of the island. Today it still covers about half the island and takes a full six hours of downhill walking to reach the end of the trail near Dawu on the east coast. Along the way you pass the remains of a Qing-dynasty army camp, a nature preserve and a rich butterfly valley near the suspension bridge at the end of the trail.
The trail begins in the mountains east of Fangliao and runs along a jungle that receives the second-highest rainfall in Taiwan. You have a good chance of spotting local wildlife en route, including the Formosan macaque, the Reeves' muntjac, wild boar, wild pangolin and over 80 species of birds.
The last section of trail after the suspension bridge is washed out and it's a bit tricky to navigate the new paths over the ridge and onto the back roads to Dawu. Only during the winter months you can walk the last 5km stretch along the dry bed of the Dawu River, almost 1km across at this point.
To hike the trail you need a police permit and your own transport.