Chuhuangkeng Historic Trail

Located in Miaoli County, the Chuhuangkeng Historic Trail (出磺坑古道), also known as the Chuyun Historic Trail (出雲古道), is 1.8 kilometers long. The steep slope gives hikers a work out, but they are rewarded along the way by the scenery, which are full of historical stories related to the development of Taiwan’s leisure industry. The early historic trail was used to connect Chuhuangkeng (出磺坑) in Gongguan Township and Fayun Temple (法雲寺) in Dahu Township. The starting point of the historic trail was originally at the back of Kaigong Elementary School in Chuhuangkeng. Since the early army infantry training often took this mountain road, the villagers also referred to the Chuhuangkeng Historic Trail as the "Army Trail."
Chuhuangkeng Historic Trail

Chuhuangkeng is located on the south side of Gongguan Township in Miaoli. It was once the border between the Han people and the people of Taiwan’s Atayal indigenous tribe. It was also the first place in Taiwan where oil and gas was discovered. In 1861, the first oil well in Asia was drilled here. During the late Qing Dynasty, oil and gas production here was coveted by the British and American powers, and it reached the peak of oil production in 1895-1945. At present, the Chuhuangkeng oil and gas field is still under drilling, development, and production. It can be said to be one of the oldest oil fields still in production in the world. In 2009, the Miaoli County Government and CPC Taiwan signed a letter of intent for joint cooperation on the "Chuhuangkeng Old Oilfield Cultural Park." They will continue to integrate the history of oil and natural gas development, to develop the tourism industry and revitalize the local area.

In the early years before the opening of Provincial Highway 6, if the ancestors entered the mountain from Gongguan, they would walk along the Houlong creek bed during the dry season in winter. In the wet season in summer, they walked into the mountain to Fayun Temple, then walked to Wenshui (汶水) at the foot of the mountain, and turned to the Dahu area. Climbing to the open area above the historic trail, the view is clear. Not only can you overlook the Chuhuangkeng at the foot of the mountain, you can also see Provincial Highway 72 in the distance, as well as the winding Houlong Creek (後龍溪), and the Niu Dou Gorge (牛鬥峽谷) cutting through Bajiaodong Mountain (八角崠山) and the Guandao Mountain (關刀山). The view is both majestic and refreshing.

Going further, the short trails will meet with the industrial roads. The trail along the gentle slopes is mostly built with imitation wood and stone steps. They are accompanied by bamboo forests on both sides, making a hike along this part comfortable, evoking a feeling of ancient times. The Fayun Temple on this historic trail was built in 1913. It was rebuilt in 1951 due to termite erosion and the Miaoli earthquake. In the old days, it was one of the four main places of worship for Buddhists in Taiwan.

Visitors walking slowly along the Chuhuangkeng Historic Trail can witness the history of oil extraction in Taiwan, learn what life was like for the indigenous people, Hakka ancestors, and oil extraction workers living and mining here. This trail is not only an ancient mountain trail, but also a living teaching material that records the stories of the ancestors.