UPDATE: The trails have now been reopened.
Rather late news, but the effects of Typhoon Soala (which hit back in early August) are still causing problems for hikers exploring the area south of Taipei. The Jiajiuliao Trail, although marked as ‘closed’ is still easily passable, at least from the Red River Gorge (Wulai) end, and others have told me that it’s possible (if a bit dicey) to pass at the Xiungkong (Sanxia) side.
On the other hand the entrance to the trails at Full Moon Mountain Forest Park nearby really is closed. A group of us tried to enter yesterday (November 10th) and after the usual routine (ignoring the ‘park closed’ signs, walking around a couple of barriers) were greeted by park officials who made it quite clear we wouldn’t be allowed to go any further. There was a large mechanical digger just past the ticket box digging away, so for this once it looks like the damage is real and severe (it’s still in a mess there three months after the event).
All this means that the popular northern trailhead of Mount Beichatian and the Yuneixi Ancient trees is going to be no-go for some time yet (the southern entrance, from Xiaowulai is open, although – thanks for the info Lyndon – a checkpoint has been recently placed on the road below the trailhead and a permit is now needed unless you take the much longer, much harder trail up past the Yuneixi Waterfalls, which begins apparently well before the barrier. The trail to Cloud Forest Waterfalls nearby, above Xiungkong, appears to be open still (there were plenty of people heading that way) but no idea about the hike over Full Moon Mountain, and how easy it would be to walk out through Full Moon Forest Park at the far end.
When the Forest Park finally reopens the news should be posted up on the Taiwan Forestry Bureau (in Chinese only of course) at http://recreation.forest.gov.tw/rt/RT_2_index.aspx
According to the same website Nearby the Tonghou Trail (Wulai to Yilan) and the Fuba Trail (Fushan to Baling) are also officially closed (the popular Hapen Trail from Fushan east to Yilan is however open), as is the trail to the Top Hundred peak Mount Beidawu, way down in Pingdong County.
It would be great to get a place where info on all path closures could be gathered in one place, in English! If anyone reading this hears of any more impassable trails (rather than ones that have been ‘closed’: trails are closed for the tiniest obstructions here) please post the info up!!