Walks listed with the most recent at the top. There might be some overlap between easy and moderate hikes.
Hidden in a cave in a rarely visited part of New Taipei’s Bali District is a shrine to one of Taiwan’s legendary figures: Liao Tian-ding.
The hills sheltering the Pingxi Line are home to countless exciting trails and waterfalls. Perhaps one of the most spectacular amongst them is the many-leveled Youkeng Waterfall.
This short walk in Wulai District packs an unreasonable amount of prettiness into its 2km length. Bring a picnic and enjoy a lazy afternoon by the riverside.
The hills rising to either side of the picturesque Pingxi Line are dotted with numerous mountain streams and waterfalls. Menghuan Waterfall is perhaps less well known than some of the others, but its secluded nature makes it a great spot to visit.
Cuei Lake in Xizhi District is one of several firefly spotting locations in New Taipei City. Visit in April to enjoy this beautiful annual event.
Mount Wufen is a rewarding half day hike in northern Taiwan’s Pingxi District. Ideal for Taipei-based day trippers looking for a scenic walk, this trail will take you up through lush forests to an open grassy ridge with expansive views over the many-layered hills of Pingxi.
This short trail linking the two popular tourist villages of Jiufen and Jinguashi takes you past aqueducts that were used during the area’s industrial past. It’s a great way to stretch your legs after sampling the edible delights of Jiufen Old Street.
This short trail in an overlooked corner of Keelung City will take you back in time to 1884 – when French and Qing soldiers fought for control of Taiwan.
Tea Mountain Trail sits just little north of Jinshan on Taiwan’s northern coast. This easy walk does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a mountain, and there’s tea growing on it. It’s perhaps not the most thrilling walk out there, but it’s a pleasant walk in a part of Taiwan that I haven’t spent nearly enough time in.
This short and easy trail in New Taipei’s Pinglin District is a good choice for a lazy summer afternoon. It meanders along a river, through rows of tea, and takes you down to a pretty suspension bridge.
The Lingjiao to Wanggu Trail packs an awful lot into its short length. You get not one, but two waterfalls, a dash of history and a trail that’s both pretty and gentle. It’s also short enough that you can combine it with a visit to some of the other sights and trails along the Pingxi Line.
Fushiping Historic Trail offers hikers the opportunity to explore the quieter side of Yangmingshan National Park.
Every April and May the mountains around Taipei are cloaked with the white blossom of the tung tree. Getting out to observe this May ‘snowfall’ is a popular activity amongst the locals, and this trail in Tucheng is one of many places you can go to join in.
The walk along Wantan Historic Trail and Beishi River Trail is soul-comforting waterside wander between villages in New Taipei’s sorely overlooked Shuangxi District. Bring a picnic and get ready to soak in some gently spectacular scenery.
The stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails that tracks over the hills between Shiding and Pinglin Districts takes you past relics of the coal industry into the heart of New Taipei City’s tea growing region.
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.
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.
The most southeasterly section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails hews close to Beiyi North Road as it winds its way over hill and stream into the hot spring town of Jiaoxi. Aside from the always popular Paoma Historic Trail, you can reasonably expect to have the path all to yourself for long stretches.
The first stretch of road leading out of Shenkeng isn’t much to write home about, but the rest of the journey soon makes up for it. The sound of water accompanies you for most of the way, as the trail sticks close to first Jingmei Stream, then Wutuku Stream, going against the flow as you head away from Taipei.
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.
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.
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.
This leg of the journey ties up the northern, middle and southern routes on their route into the centre of Yilan. Along the way you can stop to take in some grand coastal scenery, soak up the sun at the surfer beach in Wai’ao, visit Toucheng’s historic old street and dip your toes in Jiaoxi’s hot spring waters. Although it may not seem like the obvious place to go for a stroll, those who do walk this way will certainly find plenty to keep themselves interested.
The first step on the southern span of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, this walk takes you from Da’an District over the hills to the popular sightseeing spot of Shenkeng Old Street. Depending on you view of the town’s famous stinky tofu this is either a perfect reward for a day of hard walking, or sore punishment.
This part of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails has two unique claims to fame, not only does it have the oldest original section of path, but it also overlaps with the route that the Japanese took when they marched from Yanliao to modern-day Taipei in 1895.
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.
This stretch of the northern Tamsui-Kavalan Trails connects the relaxed beach town of Fulong with the fishing villages of Shicheng and Dali. On the way it takes you past the old Caoling Tunnel, and perhaps even follows the route taken by Wusha – the immigrant credited with being ‘the pioneer of Yilan’.
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.
This section’s use of riverside cycle paths makes it a very accessible stretch of the southern Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. What’s more, this ease of walking doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beautiful views since the scenery around Pinglin has its own effortless prettiness.
If you know anyone who isn’t yet sold on the natural and cultural delights of Taiwan, then take them by the hand and lead them to the start of this trail for a condensed highlights-reel version of everything that makes me love this charming island. This portion of the middle Tamsui-Kavalan Trails follows the footsteps of the tea-traders of yesteryear over clear streams and vibrant forests to a mountain top and the coast beyond. Along the way you’ll meet the many gods who they trusted to keep them safe on their travels, and if you’re not utterly smitten with Taiwan by the time you finish, then you don’t have a heart.
Lion’s Head Mountain is unassuming peak at the sourthernmost terminus of Taipei’s Songshan-Xindian line which holds unexpected opportunities for adventure. Popular with the local population of retirees, this network of paths is well furnished with shelters, and looping trails around the hillside with changing city-scapes at every turn.
Nestled away in the tea-growing hills of Pinglin walkers can find the perfect antidote to summer’s relentless heat: Jingualiao Fish and Fern Trail. This family-friendly trail meanders alongside Jingualiao Creek, and would be a perfect picnic spot.
Anyone who has hiked in Yangmingshan National Park and cast their gaze across the Tamsui River towards Bali will have noticed the multiple peaks clustered around Guanyin Shan. This trail covers many of those peaks, and is a much more interesting walk than the stone steps that also climb to the top.
This is one of the all-time classic Taiwan hikes, and for good reason. Pingxi’s crags rise dramatically from the forest and are the perfect adventure playground for visitors from Taipei.
Shiding is famous amongst hikers for being the starting point of Huandidian’s dramatic ridge walk, but the area has more to offer than that. Just a ten minute drive from Shiding Old Street you can find the start of Yue Shan Hu Cliff Trail – a fascinating little loop with some spectacular geology and a few traces of the area’s past life as a mining town.
Now inhabited solely by stray dogs, the abandoned settlement of Dacukeng was once a thriving village supported by the profits of the area’s abundant ‘black gold’ – coal. Climb the stairs to see what’s left of this community, and then continue of to Jiufen for some well-earned snacks.
A very watery wander along a pretty historic trail in New Taipei’s Shuangxi District.
A small, but perfectly formed hike tucked away in a corner of New Taipei City’s Xizhi District. Despite being only a couple of kilometres long, this walk manages to pack in some ridge climbing, a small lake and a few views.
This is the perfect half-day hike for adventure-seekers who want to explore the many and varied delights of Taiwan’s marvellous northeastern coast.
Whilst Taipei’s northern and eastern hills tend to get most of the attention, this trail to the southwest of the city has plenty to offer the traveller who strays from the well-trodden trails of Yangmingshan Park. Indeed, as the locals know, Yonghe District has well-trodden paths of its own to explore. This route takes in ancient banyans, views to both the north and the south, all manner of trail types and enough temples to satisfy the very keenest of temple aficionados.
Once a highlight of Taiwan’s domestic tourism industry, Bitan is now a relaxed feeling, end-of-the-line destination, mostly populated by families looking for an easy day out. To see a different side of this weekend hotspot you can cross over the suspension bridge and take a walk up one of the trails up to Hemei Peak. With it’s abandoned amusement park and the return trip on the lone surviving paddle ferry, this really is a wander into Bitan’s past.
The first hike that comes to mind when thinking of Sanxia District is the ever-popular Wuliaojian trail. But if you’re not feeling up to such a tough climb, you could always set your sights on this not-so-extreme ridge walk.
A short and easy meander over some of the less frequented hills of the northeastern coast. Given how convenient the trains are, this would make a good place to come for a quick half-day adventure out of Taipei.
A short and sweet loop out of Yingge’s ceramics neighbourhood. Sights on this walk include views over Sanxia, shrines in naturally hollowed out caves and a close-up view of the eponymous Yingge Rock, (a large bird-shaped stone which was said to have emitted toxic vapours until it was cannoned by Koxinga’a army).
This trail is one of the most popular day hikes in northern Taiwan, and for good reason. You’ll enjoy waterfalls, a shaded walk by a stream and a dash of adventure…and all easily accessible using public transport.
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.
A ridge trail which skirts the southern edge of Taipei and takes in a couple of notable temples along the way.
For those who like to enjoy a range of exercise in one adventure, head to the hills of Shulin District where you can enjoy a short, brisk walk before a refreshing swim (and exercise your vocal chords with a spot of mountain karaoke).
A charming and easily accessible walk which takes in a temple behind a waterfall and panoramic views from Taipei’s Maokong gondola. With a couple of route options, this walk is suitable for confident beginners and anyone with more experience.
A very easy walk on the north coast of Taiwan where you can gaze out to sea and consider the immortality of love.
An easy hike with a waterfall and city views in Xizhi District.
A hike fit for even the most devoted of gym bunnies.
A different way to experience the famous tourist town Jiufen.
A hidden gem of a trail nestled in the hills around Linkou. This easy walk would be great for families.
This short loop at the edge of civilisation offers a quick getaway from the city.
The not-so-tough route up to Tough Guy Peak.
A cultural stroll through hillside temples and graveyards.
Teapot Mountain is an easy climb among stunning coastal mountain scenery.
Fun scramble through a hidden valley just to the east of Taipei.
A chance to test your navigation skills as you wander through hillside farmland.
Simple lazy afternoon walk for when you want to get out but don’t want to go too far.
Rewarding hike to a waterfall and beyond, this walk would make for a great picnic day out.
A bit of a steps workout walk.
This is currently an unpaid side passion project and I will continue doing it just for the love of it, but of course if you like what I do and feel inclined to chip in a few dollars for transport and time then I would appreciate it immensely. You can find me on either Ko-fi or Buy Me a Coffee.