Zhongyang Peak/Dongshige Old Trail
Pingxi District, New Taipei City
This hike goes over the peak of Zhongyang and follows the Dongshige Old Trail to an isolated farmhouse. The peak is a fun rough climb with lots of ropes, while the old trail follows a beautiful small stream. Note: this hike does not include the Pingxi Crags, please my Pingxi 1 for information on hiking the crags.
Access: take bus 795 from Muzha MRT Station to Pingxi
795 bus schedule: http://www.tpebus.com.tw/image/5163.2.pdf
Length: 9km, 4.5hours
Difficulty Level: 4/5
Trail Conditions: lots of steep stone steps to start, narrow dirt trail over Zhongyang with lots of ropes including a vertical rope climb to the peak, stone or dirt mostly flat trail along Dongshige Old Trail
There is a Family Mart at the bus stop where you can buy water and things before starting the hike. From the bus stop walk along the road back towards Jingtong for about a few hundred meters until you come to a school. The trail starts across the road from the school and is clearly marked with signs and a trail map.
From the start of the trail climb up the first short set of stairs to a trail junction at the top. Fork left here signposted for Cimu Summit and climb to stairs ahead.
At the top of the stairs keep going straight when the stairs merge with a wide track. The trail follows an old mining cart track up the valley above a small stream.
Turn left at a trail junction with some stairs climbing upwards away from the track signposted for Tzmu Peak and Hsiaotz Mountain.
The stone stairs quickly turn into a dirt trail. In a few minutes the dirt trail arrives at the base of a cliff. Steps climb narrowly upwards along the cliff face. There is a rope that you can hang onto, but no safety barrier.
At the top the trail changes back into a dirt trail continuing its steep climb upwards, sometimes with ropes.
Near the summit the trail makes a turn to the right and there is also a trail map here. To reach the summit of Cimu Peak you need to make a short but difficult vertical rock climb with ropes.
The trail leads away from the ropes and map along the top of the ridge through the trees.
Then climbs upward with rock-cut steps and a rope.
At the top the trail is flat again through the trees. Then more rock-cut steps and a rope lead up to the high point on the trail. The trail emerges from the trees along the top of the ridge providing for some excellent views.
At the top there is a rocky spine with a safety barrier on one side.
Then it’s back into the trees for a descent. The trail doubles back sharply to the right and descents to a trail junction in front of an overhanging cliff. Keep going straight here.
After this junction the trail turns to a narrow dirt trail. Follow the hiking flags to help you find the way. The trail makes a short climb then makes a sharp left turn, signposted here for Central Range Point. After the turn you’ll soon come the a short section of trail where you have to walk along a tree root while hanging onto a rope.
From here keep following the trail flags and signs pointing the way to Zhongyang piton. The trail climbs over a couple of small peaks. After a small peak the trail descends a short distance and gives you your first view of Zhongyang peak. It’s a steep climb to the top with lots of ropes. There are vertical rope sections to reach the peak, but there are places to put your feet as you make the climb.
At the top of the climb you’ll come to a trail junction. First turn left here to reach the peak of the mountain. There is a small clearing here only big enough to hold a few people but great views of the mountains around Pingxi. There are no benches on the peak. After enjoying the view return back to the junction and keep going straight. The trail makes a short climb then goes along the top of a rocky ridge with more great views. The are railings here for safety.
From peak the trail descends steeply down the other side. There are lots of rope sections as the trail makes its way down. At the bottom there is a trail junction at a small stream. Turn right here.
This short trail follows the small stream and connects to the Dongshige Trail. A short rope and rocky section leads down past a small waterfall. The trail continues to follow the stream until it joins another stream and a junction with the Dongshige Old Trail.
Turn left at the trail junction signposted for Fengtou piton. The Dongshige Trail is a beautiful trail that follows the stream up the mountain.
The trail follows the small stream crossing it many times and sometimes going up the middle of the stream. Go straight a trail junction signposted for Choutou Mt. and Zhongyang piton.
The trail continues to follow the stream and soon comes to another trail junction. Go straight here again signposted to Grassland.
The trail keeps with the stream for a while then eventually leads away from it. A sharp left turn with a couple of benches leads over a small ridge with some tall trees. After the ridge the trail starts to make a slightly steep and rough descend down to the farm below. You should begin to hear the sounds of the chickens and you make your way down.
After the descend you’ll reach a large grassy clearing and the farmhouse. At the farm there a several buffalo likely laying down in a mud bog and lots of chikens running around everywhere. The farmer who lives here only speaks Taiwanese and may or may not come out to greet hikers. The farm is marked on the trail maps as Dongshige No. 13 House.
After checking out the farm return all the way back to where to joined this trail and keep going straight signposted for Pingxi junior high school.
The trail follows the stream downwards and passes a couple of Land God shrines.
After the shrines the trail passes some old mining ruins including a mine entrance and a couple of ruined buildings.
The trail also crosses the stream on a mining bridge. After a ruined house there is a fork in the trail, take the left fork here going downwards.
At the bottom of the climb the trail follows along the old mining cart tracks.
Map of the Hike