Mountains to Sea(MSTW)National Greenway


Touching upon the highest elevation in Taiwan (3,952 meters on Mount Jade) and the lowest elevation (sea level at Taijiang National Park), The Mountains to Sea National Greenway(MSTW) is a footpath stretching 177 kms across Tainan City and Jiayi County.  

The MSTW exhibits an important interchange of Taiwan values, over a span of time and space. Along its planned path, the trail spans across 5 climatic zones and forest physiognomic types, 2 national parks, 3 national scenic areas, and 2 reservoirs. It is also a route with rich history, containing 3 cultural living circles of the Tsou, the Siraya, and Taijiang.  

It is the first long-distance footpath/ bikeway to be named “Greenway” in Taiwan, and began its development in 2007. With Chao-Huang Temple as the center, a group of nature enthusiasts started to connect the 45 km “Tainan Mountains to Sea Greenway”. After years of community campaigns and building on the basis of the Tainan Mountains to Sea Greenway, the official development for the “Mountains to Sea National Greenway” finally began in 2018. Forestry Bureau, appointed as the competent authority of the MSTW, hosted a 2-day workshop and invited 40 professions and  related organizations to join the meeting, aiming to ensure that the well-intended efforts of each partner serve to move trail planning and implementation forward, that a platform was established and meetings will be arranged regularly. This coordination among central and local officials, various stakeholders, and support from communities along the planned path is essential in having a strong support system in place to develop a sustainable trail, and maintain it over the long term.  

The MSTW connects the sea, the rivers and the mountains, carrying the history, the diverse ethnic cultures, and the natural beauty of Taiwan. The greenway mainly consists of roads and countryside paths, which is why various vehicles of green transportation are recommended for travelers. For instance, one can take the bamboo raft, the ferry, or the community shuttle bus, ride a bike, or go on foot. In the future, eco-tourism based on local features will be incorporated to open up historical and cultural trails, water resource heritage trails, and native land eco-trails, so that this will become a National Greenway that represent the Taiwanese lifestyle and cultural heritage.

  • End points: Taijiang National Park (Sea side) ; Mt. Jade (Mountain side)
  • Length: 170 km
  • The Greenway spans across 5 climatic zones and forest physiognomic types, and 4 ethnic cultural circles. It connects Taijiang National Park and Mt. Jade National Park, Zengwen Reservoir and Wushantou Reservoir, two of Alishan’s National Scenic Areas, and the 3 cultural living circles of the Tsou, the Siraya, and Taijiang.

Vision of MSTW

  • To protect the connection of natural corridors from mountain to marine ecosystems, putting the policy of national ecological conservation network into effect. 
  • To preserve the continuity and completeness of the linear space of cultural heritage;  
  • To connect the green and open spaces among urban and rural areas, aiming to improve quality of life and preserve areas of natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  • By linking the outstanding natural landscapes and a rich intangible cultural heritage, including national parks, protected areas, indigenous communities and recreational resources, to encourage sustainable tourism and revitalize the local industries.  

Value of Mountains to Sea National Greenway 

  • To represent the richness of Taiwan's history and culture. 
    • This is also a cultural route that illustrates Taiwanese memory, history and heritage and contribute to an interpretation of the diversity of present-day Taiwan.
  • To exhibit an outstanding example of hydraulic engineering construction.
    • The Wusanto Dam and Chinan Canal is a major landmark in the development of water management and technology. The engineer, Yoichi Hatta, used an uncommon semi-hydraulic fill technique to construct Wusanto Dam, which has proven resistant to Taiwan's severe seismic activity. Wusanto Dam is also the only project constructed with this technique that is still in use anywhere in the world, which illustrates a significant stage in human history.  
  • To contain areas of exceptional natural beauty and the importance of conservation value.
    • The greenway from sea level to high mountain areas brings breathtaking natural landscape sceneries. The mountain ecosystem has various types of virgin vegetation reflecting the complex topography and weather conditions of the property, and serves as a habitat for a rich and diverse range of fauna and flora including endangered and endemic species.  
  • To showcase the inclusion among different ethnic groups in Taiwan.
    • The mountains to sea national greenway demonstrates a journey through space and time, how the heritage of the different ethnic groups and cultures, including indigenous communities, Chineses, Dutch and Japanese, contribute to a shared and living cultural heritage.


Mountains to Sea Greenway, Taiwan(山海圳國家綠道)