A natural greenhouse: Finding peace in Snow Mountain's bird's nest fern forest
Words by Niang Chen
Translated by Angel Pu
Situated where Da-an River of Taichung's Heping district meets the Snow Mountain River is what used to be the Snow Mountain Farm. Popular prior to 1999's 921 Earthquake, the farm was forced to suspend operations following the quake, which damaged its access road. Today, the only thing that remains is the stone sculpture of a giant.
To the left of the stone sculpture is an asphalt road that leads you to a beautiful forest of bird's nest ferns that is well worth visiting. You can park your car in front of the farmhouse, roofed with iron sheets, and a three-minute walk later you will find yourself in a greenhouse built by the nature. The vegetation here is very lush with not only bird's nest ferns, but also plants like cassava and Elephant Ear Taro. Finding yourself surrounded by all this greenery and fresh, natural setting is an ideal way to relieve stress and find peace.
The forest is huge, so stay on the path to avoid getting lost. On the left side of the woods is a small river where you can play with the water, or just enjoy the quiet atmosphere and sunshine filtering down through the leaves. Everyone is welcome to this beautiful place, but there are some important reminders: Don't wear shorts or skirts or bring pets with you, because there are some stinging nettles growing along the path. As you leave the forest, you'll also see Shilin Dam on your left and, between February and April each year, you can also see fully-blooming cherry trees on the roadsides.
From National Freeway No. 1, exit at the Fengyuan interchange, take Provincial Highway No. 10 and No. 3 to Dongshi, turn left at Dongchi Street and you'll arrive at Snow Mountain Farm.
To go to the bird's nest fern forest, take Village Road No. 47, drive over Xueshankeng Bridge, turn onto the macadam road next to Yongfeng Deli, and drive another 3-4 km. You will see an abandoned shed; pass this building and drive another 1.5 km. Take the asphalt road on your left and drive until it ends in front of a farmhouse. Walk about 3 minutes and you will see the path.
Take the Fengyuan Bus Co. from Dongshi to Xueshankeng, get off at the Xueshankeng stop, and walk on the above route for about 5.2 km to arrive at the path.