Above today's Beikeng Creek Historic Trail was once the Atayal hunting field, Buan Bala, where the aborigines used to hunt muntjacs prior to the Japanese Occupation Era. When the Japanese came and saw the snow-coverd ridgeline of Xue Mountain (later refrred as Holy Ridge) in winter, they renamed the place as “Yukimi,” meaning “seeing the snow” and thus translated as“ Xuejian,” its current Chinese name. Henceforth, the Japanese began to construct the Beikeng Creek Trail to better administer the Atayals and exploit the aboudant natural resources in the forest.
The construction of the 30-plus-km trail started from Sep. 1922 to Mar. 1923. 12 police stations were set up on the way from Guanwu to Erbensong. The Xuejian Police Station was thelargest among others. The Station was home to 16 personnel,including 1 police director, 5 police officers, and 10 associateofficers. In addition to the police station, during the Japanese rule there used to be a sports field with a 150-m running track, a school, a marketplace for indigenous traders, a clinic with a full-time doctor, a dormitory, and a sericulture house.
The ROC government took over Taiwan after World WarII, relieving the bitterness Taiwanese people endured under Japanese rule. Police stations along the Beikeng Creek Trail were consequently deactivated. Meanwhile, however, areas along Sihmasian Forest Road above Beikeng Creek Trail continued to suffer from exploitation activities, which did not stop until 1992 when Xuejian area was included in Shei-Pa National Park.
On Jan. 8th, 2008, Xuejian Recreation Area was formally opened to the public, and in late 2010 the first tarmac road to the Area via Simaxian Forest Road was completed. Unfortunately in 2004, Beikeng Creek Historic Trail was shattered by continual typhoons, with its history buried in the mid-altitude cloud forests around the upstream of Da-an River.
Xuejian Station and Visitor Center is located 400 m above Xuejian Police Station, hosting 1 station chief, 1 associate technical specialist, 1 technical driver, 1 contract interperter, 3 park rangers², plus 5 aboriginal park rangers, 3 substitute civilian servicemen, 3 aboriginal interpreters, and three janitors³. Also, a three-man Xuejian Police Squad from Shei-Pa Police Brigade has been dispatched since Nov. 2010 to prevent and crack down on illegal hunting and logging and to provide public service.
Compared to 90 years ago, today Xuejian is being administered in a very different fasion. The past and present administrative systems of Xuejian run paralell to each other at the foot of the left bank of Da-an River. Perhaps they only meet up when todays’ park rangers come across their colonial-time counterparts as they enter the ancient domain.