This section of the Taipei Skyline Trail was an unexpected delight. It has the twin charms of both a fun ridge walk and a temple-studded historic trail.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: SHIFEN to NUANNUAN (淡蘭古道中路：十分/暖東峽谷/暖暖)
Taking the old mining town of Shifen as its starting point this section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails takes you up towards Mount Wufen before plunging down into shady valleys on its way to Nuannuan. There are some lovely scenes to enjoy along the way including a bright red trailside temple and a spectacular ravine.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: MUDAN LOOP (淡蘭古道北路：牡丹/燦光寮古道/貂山古道)
This peaceful part of the northern Tamsui-Kavalan Trails traverses the slopes of the valley south of Jinguashi. Along the way you’ll pass deserted mining settlements, a tomb with a tragic tale, (or two, or three, or four), and a now abandoned dam in the middle of the forest.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: NEIGANJIAO to SHIFEN (淡蘭古道中路：內柑腳/十分)
The stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan trails leading into Shifen from the south is probably the quietest section of the middle route, but don’t let that put you off. This really has the feel of a functional historic trail, leading you over the hills and across the valley from one village to another. And those who walk it south to north can reward themselves with some snacks from Shifen Old Street.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: RUIFANG to SHUANGXI (淡蘭古道北路：瑞芳/雙溪)
Ruifang to Shuangxi forms part of the northern road of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. It passes through several rural communities and is a relatively easy route, since much of it follows established roads. It also passes the famous Jinzibei steele.
KOUSHAN TRAIL (口山步道)
Koushan Trail is a short and gentle stroll in Miaoli's rural Zaoqiao Township. In the days when most travel was done on foot, it was part of the old footpath that used to link the village of Zaoqiao with the village of Tanwen further over towards the coast.
CAOLING HISTORIC TRAIL (草嶺古道)
This historic and very accessible trail will take you over the hills from Dali to Fulong next to an inviting river stream. Better yet, you can look forward to a refreshing swim once you've reached your destination.
XIAOCUKENG ANCIENT TRAIL TO SHIMEN HILL (小粗坑古道/石門山)
A moderate afternoon hike up an old cattle path with a minor peak at the top.
QILONG HISTORIC TRAIL (騎龍古道)
Road walking with a view in Hsinchu County.