Chinan National Forest Recreation Area
The Chinan National Forest Recreation Area acquired its name (meaning "south of the pond") from its location south of Shoufeng Township's Liyu Lake. It is located halfway up a hill next to the Lao River, and has a commanding view of both Liyu Lake and Liyu Mountain.
The Chinan National Forest Recreation Area was previously known as Chinan Station. It was the lumber and logging area for the Mugua Mountain Working Circle, a branch of the Forestry Bureau's Hualien Forest Administration Center. The lumber industry flourished here from 1961 to 1981. At that time, all the lumber cut by the Mugua Mountain Working Circle was transported to Chinan Station along the now discarded Halun freight transportation railway and freight transportation ropeway, from where it was then transported to other locations.
After the Forestry Bureau adopted a policy of forbidding any cutting down of natural forests, the logging work of Chinan Station came to an end in 1986, and the area was turned into a forest recreation area. In order to allow the public to learn more about Chinan Station's logging era, the Chinan National Forest Recreation Area has set up a forestry exhibition hall at its visitor center. In addition, lumbering tools from all parts of the country are on display in the surrounding outdoor areas. Many other tools are also on display, such as a steam engine (the front part of the train) that was used for transporting lumber, as well as a steam logging machine, a diesel logging machine, a freight transportation ropeway, and baskets. Through the display and introduction of these well-kept tools, visitors can learn about the history and development of Taiwan's forestry, and understand the hard work involved in early lumbering.
Of these tools on display, the most unique is the steam engine head. This was built in the USA in 1910, and even though it only weighed 18 metric tons, it could carry up to 95 tons. This type of engine, strong enough to climb up steep slopes, is very rare. It was used in Alishan for 66 years. Also on display are some steam logging machines that were made in Taiwan, and required wood for firing. However, they only had 85 horsepower, and were an early prototype of machine equipment. They were in service at Lintian Mountain for 33 years.
Status In operation