The old town of Hengchun is one great alternative to Kenting, and the historic city walls provide visitors with the perfect ‘no plan’ day out. Just lace up your shoes and start walking, letting your interest and stomach divert you as necessary.
TAITUNG’S CARP HILL ( 臺東鯉魚山)
Carp Hill is perhaps the most prominent geological feature in Taitung City, and if you're visiting Taitung then climbing it is a great way to see the city from another angle.
ZHONGGANG MAIN DRAINAGE TRAIL (中港大排)
You could be forgiven for thinking that New Taipei's heavily industrial Xinzhuang District doesn't have any beauty spots worth investigating. But have you visited Zhonggang Main Drainage Trail yet? Taroko Gorge, it's not, but for an inner city wander, it's not too shabby.
BAGUASHAN WANDER (八卦山散步)
Bagua Shan's giant Buddha is one of the most instantly recognisable features of Changhua, the smallest county in the Taiwanese mainland, but it's just one of many interesting sights to be seen on a stroll around this diminutive hill.
JIUZHUANG SHAN (舊莊山)
Jiuzhuang Shan is a small hill in Taipei’s Nangang District, immediately opposite the campus of Academia Sinica. A wander along the trails will introduce you to a number of distinguished academics who were associated with the institution during their lifetimes.
TAIPEI GRAND HIKE 8 – WENSHAN to GUANDU (臺北大縱走8段 – 文山/關渡)
This is one for the picky completists out there. Back when the Taipei Grand Hike was first announced, I was excited by the idea of a Taiwanese long distance trail, but it always rankled that the trail didn’t encircle the city entirely. Well now it does. (Almost.)
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: WANHUA to FUYANG ECO PARK (淡蘭古道：萬華/富陽自然生態公園)
The southern stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails starts from the historic centre of Wanhua and heads through urban parks and market streets on its way to the edge of the city.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: XIZHI to RUIFANG (淡蘭古道：汐止/暖暖/瑞芳)
The northernmost span of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails follows the course of the Keelung River upriver from Taipei almost as far as the coast before veering south towards Jiufen. The section between Xizhi and Ruifang jumps from small town to small town, passing lots of temples and traces of history along the way.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: WANHUA to XIZHI (淡蘭古道：萬華/松山/南港/汐止)
Much of the original Tamsui-Kavalan Trails have been swallowed up by Taipei's urban sprawl. In this section you follow the course of the city's subterranean train tracks past some of the old factories that spurred on the development of the railway network, past grand historic temples, and on towards Keelung River.
18 PEAKS MOUNTAIN PARK (十八尖山公園)
18 Peaks Mountain Park is one of Hsinchu's most easily accessible outdoor leisure spots. Not only does it draw outdoor fans in search of a scenic place for a stroll (or a jog), but its layered past means it also has much to attract history buffs.
TAMSUI RIVER CYCLE PATH
The west bank of the Tamsui River makes an excellent short excursion. To get the most out of your adventure make sure you leave time to enjoy some of Tamsui's street food and savour the sunset.
BIHU TRAIL (碧湖步道)
This really easy walk in Neihu is suitable for pretty much anyone who can climb a few steps. In the summer remember to bring a towel so you can have a paddle in the stream that runs through Dagouxi Park.
ZHISHANYAN STROLL (芝山岩)
In this quiet suburb of Taipei sits a hidden gem of a trail. Suitable for people of all ages and abilities, the trails of Zhishanyan have layer upon layer of history to reveal. On these slopes you can encounter a potted version of Taiwan’s past lives, the walk takes in prehistoric bones, the waves of mass immigration from China, a tragedy from the Japanese colonial era and Taiwan’s recent military past.
XIMEN TO XINDIAN RIVER CYCLE PATH (新店溪自行車道)
As with almost all of Taipei’s large rivers, the Xindian River has well-maintained cycle paths stretching for many kilometres along its banks. This gentle ride upriver towards Bitan is a great way to stretch your legs and enjoy scenery that becomes more and more dramatic the further south you go.
BIHU PARK AMBLE (碧湖公園)
A very short and simple stroll around a pretty lake. This walk should be an easy one to do if the weather isn’t being cooperative, or if you want to bring the kids.