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The Qianshan (前山) stands on the edge of Dongyuping Harbor. Although it is only 61 meters high, it is the highest point of the Penghu Southern Marine National Park. From the top of the mountain, you can overlook the magnificent ocean between the islands and reefs, and the beautiful coastal reef landscape. To encourage tourists to explore the island environment and appreciate the beauty of the mountains and seas, Marine National Park Headquarters (hereinafter referred to as MNPH) cooperated with the Thousand Miles Trail Association, Taiwan for trail construction. We had invited residents, villagers, and trail volunteers from Dongyuping to construct the first handcraft trail on the islet in Taiwan by applying local materials only. The trail connects the steep slope of the Qianshan (前山), the top platform, and the Golden Dragon Pagoda at the Houshan (後山). The trail distance is about 1.5 kilometers and connects Chifu Tower and the existing seaside trail as well. From then on, tourists can easily look for quiet places and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the trail.

 

Applying local natural materials and implementing self-guided tour signs

Dongyupingyu mainly consists of two slopes of Qianshan and Houshan. The trails are hidden in the natural environment. The construction materials and the associated machinery are difficult to deliver. When building up the handcraft trails, we repair the old trails with human power and suitable natural stones just the same as the early villagers. In addition, when tourists walked on slopes, they often get lost due to a lack of guidance. To improve this situation, piles of stones with a length, width, and height of about 80*80*80 cm are stacked in open areas or fork roads to provide tourists with clear directions and trail guidance at the right time. When setting up the interpretive signs, we selected the appropriate stone or wood on the ground to make the interpretive facilities blend into the landscape.

 

 

Link trails on the island to set up a convenient tour of the whole island

In the past, tourists went to the Golden Dragon Pagoda in Houshan to enjoy the magnificent vegetable house landscape. Most of them traveled along the seaside trail on the west side of the island to Chifu Pagoda. They entered the Houshan through the settlement alleys, and then returned to the harbor along the same trail. The newly completed handcraft trail is connected with the old recreational route to form a circular trail between the Qianshan and the Houshan. Visitors can appreciate the beauties of the coast, ascend to look down and watch Dongyupingyu from different angles of view.

 

Combining environmental education to link people and nature

The construction of handcraft trails is implemented in a form of working on holidays. It incorporated the concept of environmental education to encourage volunteers to collaborate with the residents. They experienced the different characteristics of the size, shape, and sharpness of corners of the natural stones by personally selecting stones, picking up stones, and stacking them into a solid trail. Instead of mechanical construction methods, volunteers constructed the trail by hand only to experience the life wisdom of early residents adapting to apply local materials for construction, and to learn the way of harmonious relationship in coexisting among people, and between man and nature.

 

During the construction of the trail, MNPH recorded the participation of residents and volunteers in detail by photos and collected feedback from residents. This information is edited in two videos: “Protecting the Trails of Island by “Hand” (「手」護小島之路) and “Footage on the Handcraft Trails" (腳踏手作的路).

It hopes that people who care about the ecological environment of the national park appreciate this handcraft trail constructed with low disturbance to the natural environment and the application of local materials. The project of handcraft trails in the form of working on holidays has been implemented 6 times. A total of 158 community residents and volunteers have participated in handcraft trail construction. The old trails will be gradually repaired by the ecological engineering method In the future. The new trails will connect the existing trails to set up a whole island trail system to link people and nature. This type of volunteer service with both ecology and culture aspects has collaborated more residents, migrants, and enthusiastic volunteers to build a home and deepen community partnerships with MNPH.

 

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Legend 1: The seaside trail leading to the Houshan (後山) on the west side of the island.

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Legend 2: The photos show the differences of handmade trails before and after construction in the Qianshan (前山).

 

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Legend 3: Residents and trail volunteers collaborated to repair old trails.

 

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Legend 4: Stone piles stacked on the spot to provide tourists with clear directions and trail guidance.

 

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Legend 5: The snapshot of video: Protecting trails of Island by “Hand”.

 

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Legend 6: The snapshot of video: Footage on the Handmade Trail.

 

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