Located in northern Taiwan’s Yilan County, the Luodong Forestry Culture Garden (羅東林業文化園區) was opened to the public in 2009. With an area of 39.5 acres (16 hectares), the garden used to be a timber production site of the Luodong Branch of the Taiping Forest Area during the Japanese occupation.
Please watch the following video of Yilan County’s Luodong Forestry Culture Garden:
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After its Japanese-style buildings and other facilities were designated by the Ministry of Culture as a historical asset in 2004, the site was listed as a cultural landscape area in 2012.
In the Luodong Forestry Culture Garden, there are many attractions, including a Nature Education Center, Forest Life Exhibition, Art and Culture Corner, Rail Exhibition Hall and DIY Space, Bamboo Explore Exhibition Hall, Lanyang Trails Exhibition Hall and Forest Art Gallery, Bamboo Railway Station, Log Storage Pool, and Primitive Habitat.
The steam locomotives, vehicle inspection garage, office buildings, staff quarters, fortress, log storage pool, transport machinery, and other industrial facilities are well preserved and perfectly remodeled for exhibition.
One of the most striking views in the garden is the logs piled up on the two sides of the passage near the entrance. They are valuable Taiwan red and yellow cypress, along with driftwood collected by the competent authorities over the past decades.
Another distinctive feature of the garden is the log storage pool. Covering an area of 24.5 acres (9.9 hectares), the manmade pool has now become part of the ecology system where birds, frogs, and fireflies thrive during the warmer months. Visitors can often spot some night herons, egrets, and kingfishers perching on the driftwood. With rapid urbanization and environmental protection regulations, the log storage pool is a rare site today.
It is interesting to check out the wooden ramp next to a steam locomotive with a train full of logs. The ramp is situated alongside the railway so as to roll the logs from the rail cars into the storage pool.
There are two hiking trails along the storage pool and through the garden. Strolling along these trails is indeed a great getaway from the busy city life. The 1,400-meter-long wooden hiking trail around the pool is also a great place for birdwatching and photography.
In addition to cultural and recreational purposes, the Luodong Forestry Culture Garden also has an educational mission. It has conducted various training programs attended by over 35,000 people in the past decade, and the garden was listed as a certified environmental and educational facility and field by Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture in 2012. The Luodong Forestry Culture Garden is indeed a place worth visiting for its beauty and historical significance.