Distance: 2.6km – there’s definitely potential to go further than this since the park is a maze of paths.
Time: 1½ at a leisurely ‘Sunday afternoon with a dog’ pace. I did a very similar route here in under an hour a month ago.
Difficulty: 2/10 – the uneven surface might make it harder for some, but there weren’t even any steps on the route we took, (which was our plan given that You Tiao is slightly vertically challenged). It’s very possible to take a tougher route, but most of the paths here wouldn’t get above 4/10 difficulty wise. Also, maps and signs aren’t readily available or useful, the park isn’t too large, but it’s large enough to get a little disorientated.
Total ascent: 110m or thereabouts.
Water: 0.5L – if you go at the weekend you’ll be able to get a tea or coffee from some enterprising locals who drive their scooters into the park.
Shade: pretty well shaded – I got away with no extra cover at midday during a late summer Sunday.
Mobile network: no problem – I didn’t notice losing the network at any point.
Enjoyment: This makes a lazy afternoon dog walk or exercise loop. This is a very well established and highly frequented path so don’t go expecting peace and quiet. However the fact that we could select a route with no steps made it a perfect choice for an after brunch stroll with a dachshund.
GPX file available here.
At the start of the trail there is a staging point where the aunts and uncles can be parked before setting off.
Very quickly the path splits in two, from what I can tell, the left one goes up to the road, we went right along the flatter path.
This part of the walk is really rather lovely, the path curves around the side of a hill through a tunnel of trees. If you look down to the right, at one point you’ll notice a huge grave.
There are maybe two or three paths branching off either up or down, but we kept on the level path.
At the big junction there were a whole lot of people selling stuff, coffee, vegetables, dou gan and a guy in an umbrella hat torturing a trumpet. We turned right passed through them.
There was also a large number of flexible older people hanging of off a bamboo exercise bar.
We took the first unpaved path branching away from the concrete.
We followed the path as it curved around the hill, at one point we crossed another path, steep steps running up and down, (going uphill takes you to a small peak and going down takes you to to the valley where you can then climb up to a temple).
As the path curved around the far side of the peak we ignored a few trails branching off and stick to the main path.
As we turned to head back, we crossed another path leading up to the peak (which was kind of to the right) and took the flatter option (which was kind of straight on).
There was another crossroads where we kept going straight again (actually the path on the left connects to the path we were on).
From there we headed back to the junction where people were selling things and on to where we’d parked.
We took a little time to have a look at the view from Hutoushan Environmental park and give Youtiao a quick shower.
How to get there:
Google maps address: Hutoushan Environmental Park, Section 3, Chenggong Road, Taoyuan District, Taoyuan City, 330 – there’s space to park cars and scooters in the park.
GPS location: N25 00.759 E121 19.733
Public transport: actually you’d find it easier to do this walk in reverse using public transportation bus 9069 goes from Sonjiang New Village (just next to Xintian Temple station), to Taoyuan Veteran’s Hospital, from there it’s a short walk uphill to the park. The maps at this entrance are a lot better.
My new words learnt on this hike:
- 美人魚 / měirényú / mermaid – actually this one and some of the other words come from later in the day or earlier in the week but in the latter case I heard them again whilst walking
- 搞不好 / gǎo bù hǎo / well, maybe, probably – I think it’s going to take me a while to get the hang of how to use this one.
- 你好過分 / nǐ hǎo guòfèn / you’re too much – used as an expression of exasperation or frustration when someone’s behaviour is annoying. I think we might use you’re ridiculous or you’re preposterous in a similar way.
- 作弊 / zuòbì / cheat (v.)
- 恐嚇 / kǒnghè / threaten