Hudie (Butterfly) Waterfall (蝴蝶瀑布) is in Taichung’s Guguan region near the end of the now closed Central Cross Island Highway. The Central Cross Island Highway has been closed since the destructive 921 (on 9/21/1999) earthquake and is unlikely to ever reopen to tourist traffic (farmers and locals can use it).
Hudie Waterfall and Tangmadanshan (唐麻丹山) are very close to each other and can be hiked on the same day. Guguan’s Seven Heroes (including Tangmadanshan) are a set of summits near Guguan that make an excellent series of dayhikes and the Southern Taiwan Hiking Group (FB) is planning on hiking all of them during the next year on several trips. Hudie Waterfall can be hiked from either Tangmadanshan or from a second trailhead with a much nicer (better grade) trail.
How to get there
Trailhead 1 – Drive up Hwy 8 (Central Cross Island Hwy) and turn across a bridge between km marker 26 and 27. The road turns to the left and splits in a small village. Both roads go through the village. Pass by a campground and turn left across a small bridge. Park along side the road.
Trailhead 2 – Go across the bridge at Songhe Village near km marker 28.5. Some of the intersections will be signed in Chinese (唐麻丹山) and some will not be signed. The last part of the road is the steepest but a car can make it.
Mass transit – Bus 153 leaves 20 times/day from the HSR station in Taichung and Bus 207 or 266 leaves almost 20 times/day from Fengyuan.
The hike – Honestly I didn’t really enjoy the hike from Trailhead 1 to the peak. It is steep and really rocky. The hike from the peak towards Hudie Waterfall is steep but it is a well graded path with switchbacks. From Trailhead 2 there is a moderately steep hike up to the junction and then it is fairly easy back to the waterfall. It is also an easier hike to Tangmadanshan from Trailhead 2.
At the waterfall hikers can continue up a ladder to Menghuan Valley Waterfall and eventually to Baxianshan. The trail isn’t in as good of shape as earlier but still reasonably easy to follow. Menghuan Valley Waterfall is another large one so don’t stop at Xiao Menghuan Valley Waterfall like I did.
Date visited – 4/23/2016 – 3/5/2017