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Shoushan – Kaohsiung's Backyard/壽山 高雄後花園

 

Shoushan – Kaohsiung's Backyard

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi

◎Photos by Pao Chung-hui

 

壽山彌猴 Formosan macaque  One of the perks of living in Kaohsiung is being in such close proximity to Shoushan National Nature Park. Located in Kaohsiung's southwest region, the 1,122 hectare park consists of four mountains (shan in Chinese): Shoushan, Banpingshan, Large and Small Gueishan and Cihoushan. These green areas give the people of Kaohsiung plenty of opportunity to interact with nature. At 928 hectares, Shoushan is the largest area in the park and welcomes 3.6 million visitors each year. It is truly the "Backyard of Kaohsiung".

  Mr. Wang Kan is a volunteer and a guide in the park. He is an expert on the region and knows everything about the Northern part of Shoushan to the Southern part of Shoushan. When entering the Northern Shoushan Hiking Trail, visitors undoubtedly will see the resident Formosan Macaques. Mr. Wang recommends people calmly walk past the monkeys and do not bring plastic bags or food into the area, as they have been known to grab bags from tourists. In order to avoid being harassed, never feed or engage with the monkeys. These macaques were first recorded on Shoushan in 1862 by Robert Swinhoe, head of the British Consulate in Taiwan at the time.

大峽谷 Shoushan's Great Gorge  The first stop on his tour is the coral reef limestone that can be found along the Shoushan trail. Another feature of the mountain is the Manila Champereia trees that are laden with fruits, which happens to be a favorite of the monkeys. Further along the trail is the Vine Tunnel. This was aptly named by hikers. Although the vines are brown and dry during the winter, they are luscious green during the summer. Mr. Wang pointed out Liriope graminifolia is the favorite food of the region's barking deer (Formosan Reeve Muntijac). There are about 138 deer in the park, which are another highlight to lookout for. In order to spot them, people must keep as quiet as possible and move slowly through the forest.

  The Great Gorge of Shoushan is comprised of coral reef limestone and has been torn apart by shifting plates. Some of its gaps are narrow, but wide enough for hikers to walk through and enjoy its beautiful overhead. Mr. Wang pointed out that the sides of the gorge are usually green, but due to a current drought, they are monotone brown. The Great Gorge is truly breath taking and well worth the trip! The next attraction is the Thai Valley which is reached by following the walkway carved out the side of the mountain. Visitors will also find a group of banyan trees in the area, with the vines dangling into the valley like a curtain.

  Shoushan is truly a treasure of Kaohsiung, with rare geographic features and unique eco-systems. Kind local people carry buckets of water uphill for hikers to enjoy at rest stops, exhibiting great hiker etiquette. A maximum of 15 people is required for formal guided Shoushan tours. Applications and guide appointments can be obtained at the Preparatory Office of Shoushan National Nature Park. Call (07) 262-0610 for more information about Shoushan and its flower and fauna.

      Friendly Reminder
Thos who are new to the area please note   
    (1) Please follow the log-paved hiking trails.
(2) Do not explore unmarked area.
(3) Do not entre the mountain areas after dark.

 

錦屏藤氣根垂盪於山谷間 Seasonvines dangling into the valley 壽山 高雄後花園

  ◎文/侯雅婷 

  ◎攝影/鮑忠暉

 

  居住高雄的幸福之一,就是擁有一座「後花園」。位於高雄市區西南側有座壽山國家自然公園,園區面積1122公頃,包含壽山、半屏山、大小龜山及旗後山四大區域,是都會區的綠帶生活廊道,其中壽山以面積928公頃居冠,每年吸引360萬人次造訪,被譽為「高雄的後花園」。跟著壽山國家自然公園籌備處志工王侃的腳步,探尋北壽山「大峽谷」壯闊與險峻兼具的珊瑚礁石灰岩地形。

  一進北壽山登山口,三兩成群的彌猴毫不怕生,壽山彌猴由來已久,早在1862年英國在台總領事郇和(Robert Swinhoe)的論文就記述首度於壽山發現台灣彌猴的史實。但因人們長期餵食,彌猴常搶奪塑膠袋,王侃提醒,上山民眾手上請不要拎著塑膠袋,遵循不餵食、不接觸彌猴的原則,避免受到彌猴的干擾。

  柴山沿途可見結實纍纍的山柚果實是彌猴喜愛的食物,吃的時候發出卡啦卡啦的聲響。再往前行經山友口中的「藤蔓隧道」,山中景象隨季節遞嬗,此刻所見乾枯的藤蔓,不禁讓人期待夏季雨後,藤蔓隧道綴滿新葉。

  眼前散佈一簇簇的細葉麥門東,王侃指出這是山羌最喜歡的食物,上頭啃食的痕跡,顯示山羌曾在這帶覓食。想看見山羌身影得靠些運氣,園區約有138隻山羌,但他們聽見聲響就會消失無蹤,若您東張西望、輕聲細語,再放輕腳步,也許有機會瞧見山羌。

藤蔓隧道 Vine Tunnel  壽山「大峽谷」為珊瑚礁石灰岩地形,因受到地質斷層的張裂作用影響,若力道小一些,珊瑚礁石灰岩裂縫狹小,形成「一線天」的景觀;若張裂的大些 ,則形成「大峽谷」。王侃說,原本這時期壽山裡,兩側珊瑚礁石灰岩壁中間的山壁,呈現綠意盎然,但眼前枯槁的景象,顯示受到目前缺水的衝擊,壽山的植物正經歷艱苦的抗旱。踏出狹窄的珊瑚礁石灰岩壁,抵達大峽谷入口之際正值正午時分,彷彿透著天光乍現,陽光灑沓在珊瑚礁石灰岩壁的燦爛亮眼,屏氣凝神注視之餘,不免驚嘆!

  接著往「泰國谷」出發,先得繞山壁而行,行經榕樹群盤聚處,抵達泰國谷 ,生長在峽谷旁的錦屏藤氣根垂下如珠簾般,景觀特殊。

  壽山是高雄的瑰寶,除了得天獨厚的地形和生態,走在木棧步道上常見民眾揹桶水上山,供應山友飲用,這是壽山最有人情味的登山文化。歡迎民眾一塊入寶山,有意參觀民眾滿15人,可向壽山國家自然公園籌備處申請導覽(電話07-2620610)。

      新手登山客請注意  
    (1) 請遵循木棧道行進。
(2) 不宜自行探路。
(3) 天色暗了也不宜入山。