[ Find the Elephant! ] Miaoli Ride Around Mt ManaBang 苗栗繞馬拉邦山騎

[ Find the Elephant! ] Miaoli Ride Around Mt ManaBang 苗栗繞馬拉邦山騎

Miaoli Ride Around Mt ManaBang Summary

  • Self Ride
  • Starting/ending Location: HouLi Industrial Park Parking Lot #1 中科后里園區七星基地停車場一
  • Bike Length: ~ 96 km. Elevation gain: ~ 1100 m.
  • Hill profile: Rolling and one steep hill.
  • Good for: Adventure, stand-up technique on steep hills.
  • CAUTION:
    • Rough road & steep climb/descend at 43-55km ZhongXiang Rd (中象道路)
  • Route Highlights:

Background

The Ride Around Mt ManaBang route was the loop combining HouFeng Bike Path, Miaoli’s great back road Local #55, and the first part of ShiMaShian Forest Road (司馬限林道).

Due to road slide reconstruction near MeiYuan (梅園), this time we choose ZhongXiang Rd (中象道路) to cross the mountain.

Start: HouFeng Parking Lot

Similar to previous rides, we began our Ride Around Mt ManaBang route at HouFeng Parking Lot, this time riding north first.

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Climbing through high rise industrial park bridge.

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Today’s air was thick with mist.

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Up onto country road!

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Earth mover graveyard.

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Catchy HouLi welcome sign.

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“Marriage partner from Indonesia!”

Soon we crossed the big ZhuoLan Bridge (卓蘭大橋) and enter Miaoli.

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ZhuoLan Bridge was part of Provincial Highway #3

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During low rain seasons riverbed was fertile and good for planting stuff.

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MiaoLi’s Local #55

After crossing into MiaoLi we headed onto one of my favorite routes: Local #55 (苗55). Local #55 went through MiaoLi’s many orchards. The seasonal fruit now was pears.

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Traditional Hakka community.

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Pears in paper bags to prevent being eaten by bugs and birds.

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At winter the seasonal fruit would change to orange and strawberries.

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Pear orchards.

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ZhuoLan hydro power station.

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DaHu Bike Path

After exiting Local #55 onto Provincial Highway #3, searched for a temple-like pillar near a police station, entered the alley and you could connect onto a bike path that went through strawberry fields!

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Turned right into alley when you see this.

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Begin of strawberry bike path.

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It was not in season, so the fields were quite barren.

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At the end of bike path we entered DaHu through local roads. To avoid traffic, here in this Ride Around Mt ManaBang route we went onto DaHu’s back road and cut onto the road towards the mountains.

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Entering DaHu here.

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The back road was at DaHu’s back side.

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Corn fields.

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Surviving strawberries…

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Into the mountains!

Crossing the Mountains

Starting from here was the road that crossed the mountain to the other side. The road started with a steady, medium traffic river valley road.

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Great MiaoLi river valley.

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Into aboriginal village region!

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Crossing the river and our Ride Around Mt ManaBang route entered ZhongXing (中興) village, the starting point of our ZhongXiang Road.

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ZhongXing village was right at the other side.

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River here became narrow.

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Supposedly you had to register to get into the mountains, but nobody did it.

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As with many other aboriginal schools, the school here had a wooden made scouting tower for tradition.

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Guess which was ZhongXiang Road? Well it was the right one, hitting you immediately with 15+% uphill. Time for standing up!

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Very nicely designed aboriginal village church.

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Taiwan’s El Capitan.

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Lots of cats and dogs in aboriginal villages.

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Very quite mountain valley and farm.

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Arriving the highest point.

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The mountain’s other side. Too bad it was too misty today to see the far mountains.

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A word of caution: just like many other aboriginal village roads, here the descending was steep, and the road condition was not ideal. Taking it slow was always the safest.

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Harvested cabbage field.

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The other side was not done yet!

Soon we arrived at the ending village of ZhongXiang Road: XiangBi (象鼻), which literally means “Elephant’s trunk”.

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Local fire station.

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Village elementary.

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Crossing the bridge and we went onto Local #47, the road through great TaiChung’s river valley.

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Found the elephant!

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Advertisement wall of local shops and campgrounds.

Back to TaiChung

The rest of the Ride Around Mt ManaBang route we rode along Local #47 all the way to DongShui, then back with HouFeng bike path.

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ShiLin Dam far view.

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Great river valley scene.

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Some local artist workshop?

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Last sprint on HouFeng bike path.

Also Recommended:

Taiwan Bike Routes Map

[Knocking on the Unreachable ] Shei-Pa National Park Ride to ShueJian 雪霸: 卓蘭到雪見

[Strawberries and Broken Bridge ] Great South Miaoli Loop 環南苗栗水果斷橋騎

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