Walks listed with the most recent at the top. There might be some overlap between easy and moderate hikes.
CARP HILL NIGHT HIKE (鯉魚山夜爬)
Carp Hill Trail is a lovely walk whatever time of day you go, but I hope this post emboldens you to pay it an after-dark visit. Not only is it home to a wonderfully diverse range of nocturnal critters, but it also has a prettily sparkling night view to enjoy all by yourself.
FIREFLY SPOTTING at YUANJUE WATERFALL (圓覺瀑布螢火蟲)
If you check online for the best places to see fireflies in Taipei, then one of the locations that appears in many of the lists is Dagouxi Waterfront Park. In fact, this is a little misleading since – while the walk does start there – you need to head a little further into the dark to spot any fireflies.
TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 8
This leg of the Taipei Skyline Trail (best done in one concerted push), takes you through along a pleasant and mostly very gentle ridge. As you make your way towards the centre of Taiwan’s ceramic industry, you’ll pass multiple peaks, an ancient banyan tree, and a legendary rock.
TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 7B
This section of the TSLT picks up in Wugu and makes its way through some pleasant edge-of-the-city type trails as it skirts the northwestern edge of Taipei.
TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 7A
Section 7A of the Taipei Skyline Trail sees you scaling Mount Guanyin the hard way, before leading you along a quieter stretch of path to the place where Taiwan’s Robin Hood (allegedly) met his end.
TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 6B
This section of the Taipei Skyline Trail offers grand views over Yangmingshan Park’s western hills, as it takes walkers over the steep (and often) muddy peaks of the Mount Datun range.
TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 6A
Most of the Taipei Skyline Trail’s sixth instalment covers trails within Taipei National Park. This first half takes you along the same route as the Taipei Grand Hike, and also happens to be one of the prettiest easily-accessed walks in the park.
TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 5B
The fifth section of the Taipei Skyline Trail sees you leaving Yangmingshan Park behind and entering Keelung. This section covers a long (muddy) ridge walk between Fengguizi and the very edge of Keelung City.
ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN to LION MOUNTAIN LOOP (象山/獅山O型)
Lurking in the hills below Mount Nangang and 95 Peak are wild animals. An elephant, a lion, a tiger and a leopard which are collectively known as the Four Beasts. (Ok, so technically they’re hills rather than real beasts.) This loop takes in two of the four, and explores some of the lesser known trails in the area.
THUMB MOUNTAIN SUNRISE (拇指山日出)
There is something undeniably special about hiking up through the thinning dark to watch the sun cast its first rays over the landscape. This short trail in Taipei’s Xinyi District offers a great vantage point to see the sun come up, and observe the city as it gets ready to start a new day
TIANMU WATER PIPE TRAIL and BANLING CANAL via MOUNT SHAMAO (天母水管路/紗帽山/半嶺古圳)
The trails in Tianmu are some of the better-known trails in the foothills of Yangmingshan National Park Despite this, there are always places you’ve never been, and even revisiting familiar paths will show you a new side to the place.
QIXING SHAN NIGHT HIKE (七星山夜爬)
Qixing Shan attracts walkers year-round for its expansive views, bamboo-lined paths and volcanic geology. As Taipei’s highest mountain, it is a must-climb for the city’s population of avid hikers, but how many of them can say they have climbed it in the dark?
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.
JIANTAN TRAIL NIGHT HIKE (劍潭山步道夜爬)
There are lots of trails close to the city that offer opportunities for exploring after dark. The ever popular Jiantan Hiking Trail is one such route – although if you visit at night you can expect to have the paths almost entirely to yourselves.
NANGANG TEA MOUNTAIN TRAIL (南港茶山步道 )
If you picture Nangang District in your mind what do you see? The train station? The exhibition centre? The giant software park? I bet you didn’t envision quiet hillsides cloaked with neat rows of tea. This trail offers an insight into a side of Nangang that not so many people know about.
MOUNT ZHONGZHENG TRAIL (中正山步道)
Mount Zhongzheng Hiking Trail makes for a quiet and easy wander in the westernmost reaches of Yangmingshan National Park. Starting just a couple of blocks away from Xin Beitou Station, the trail leads you up through farms and bamboo to a peak with commands wide views over the city.
NEIHU’S PATH LESS TRAVELLED
The hills around Jinmian Shan are crisscrossed with hiking trails of varying degrees of popularity and difficulty. This post details one of the quieter walks that you can do in the area.
FAIRY SHRIMP at XIANGTIAN POOL (向天池的仙女蝦)
Xiangtian Pool is an ephemeral body of water in an old volcanic crater on the northwestern edge of Yangmingshan National Park. It can be seen after periods of heavy rain, and only then for a brief time. As if this didn’t make the pool intriguing enough, it is also home to a population of fairy shrimp which spawn in great numbers when the conditions are just right.
SCISSORS ROCK NIGHT HIKE (剪刀石夜爬)
Scissors Rock is up there with Elephant Mountain in terms of its popularity among the easily accessible trails of Taipei. But unlike it’s Xinyi District counterpart, this trail in Neihu falls quiet as soon as night settles on the city. Travellers willing to brave the dark will be treated to peaceful city views and maybe even a flying squirrel (or two, or five)
BATTLESHIP ROCK NIGHT HIKE (軍艦岩夜景)
Close to the city, Battleship Rock Trail is an ever popular walk, and on weekends in particular you are likely to find it pretty crowded. But for those who are feeling brave it offers an easy after dark hike and a stupendous night view of Taipei.
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: FUYANG ECO PARK to SHENKENG (淡蘭古道南路：富陽自然生態公園/深坑)
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.
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.
GUIZIKENG TRAIL (貴子坑步道)
Guizikeng Trail is a short and easy walk in Beitou District. In the spring you can see cherry blossom, in summer you can come to enjoy the irrigation canal, and in winter you can round off the day with a trip to the nearby hot springs.
NEISHUANG CREEK and XIN ZHEN TOU PEAK (內雙溪/新圳頭山)
A short walk in the southeastern corner of Yangmingshan National Park. This trail would make the perfect picnic walk to beat the summer heat.
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.
CARP HILL (鯉魚山)
Carp Hill may not be the highest peak in Neihu District, nor does it have the prettiest scenery or most exciting walk. However it’s a good all-rounder and it can lay claim to being the route that I have walked the most. This is my go-to walk for when I’ve just got a couple of hours free and need to stretch my legs. It’s a great little workout, and it also has plenty to make it interesting time after time. There’s a lookout spot with views over Taipei, Neihu’s oldest Buddhist temple, a waterfall and a curious series of hand-crafted…
DENG FENG CANAL TRAIL (登峰圳步道)
A quiet and gentle stroll along some of the irrigation canals in the hills of Shilin District. This would make a great summer walk for those hoping to escape the city heat.
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.
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.
DRAGON BOAT ROCK and YUANJUE WATERFALL (龍船岩/園覺山/園覺瀑布O型)
This is my newest favourite walk in Neihu. It has a stream, roped sections to tire me out, wonderful views from Dragon Boat Rock, the oldest house in Neihu District, cute little Tudi Gong Temples and a waterfall.
JINMIAN SHAN – a longer route (金面山)
A great trail taking in one of Taipei’s most Instagrammable spots. This walk can be done in a morning or afternoon and is easy to get to from the MRT.
KANGLE SHAN TRAIL (康樂山步道)
A short, unpolished trail in Neihu District. This walk has a couple of views and leads back through some allotments.
CHERRY BLOSSOM, OLD CANALS AND HOT SPRINGS IN BEITOU DISTRICT (風尾步道/頂圳步道/拐圳步道/龍鳳谷步道)
During the first three months of the year, this trail in Beitou is popular with sakura seekers. But even if you miss out on the beautiful blossoming trees, this walk still has plenty to offer. The walk takes in irrigation canals, streams, plenty of small temples and the dramatic sight of Sulphur Valley.
TAIPEI GRAND HIKE – MAOKONG (南區茶鄉大縱走 – 貓空)
The closing section of Taipei’s long distance path leads you up into the tea-growing hills of Muzha. There’s a waterfall, one of Taiwan’s top 100 religious sites, (Chihnan Temple), and the opportunity to take a rest stop in your pick of Maokong’s famous tea houses.
TAIPEI GRAND HIKE – NANGANG MOUNTAIN RANGE AND FUYANG BRANCH LINE (南區茶鄉大縱走 – 南港山系/富陽支線)
The Taipei Grand Hike’s southern arm stretches over the peaks of the Nangang mountain range and up to the huge temples and tea plantations of Muzha. In this section, you will experience wonderful views over Taipei, some of the most popular trails in the city as well as some much quieter, less frequented routes. Take in 360 degree views, historic trails, a mountain-side cemetery and a whole load of temples. This walk is a great way to start your Taipei Grand Hike adventure.
TAIPEI GRAND HIKE – BISHANYAN TO JIANTAN (北區稜線大縱走 – 碧山巖/老地方/劍潭捷運站)
Bisecting the northern and southern portions of the hike, day five takes you along the hills which separate Shilin and Songshan Districts. Here you’ll pass a supposedly haunted temple, the best spot for overlooking Songshan airport, and remnants of Taipei’s military past.
TAIPEI GRAND HIKE – FENG GUI ZUI TO DAGOUXI RIVERSIDE PARK (北區稜線大縱走 – 風櫃嘴/大溝溪生態治水園)
The fourth installment of the Taipei Grand Hike takes you to some beautiful and quiet corners of Yangmingshan National Park, as well as some of the more popular scenic spots in Neihu. The best thing about this portion is that it has an abundance of water, from the natural and charming stream running alongside Shuangxigou Old Trail, to the manmade Sweet Water Lake, and the easily accessible Yuanjue waterfall.
TAIPEI GRAND TRAIL – SECTION 1 (臺北大縱走-第一段)
The first part of the the Taipei Grand Hike has you putting in some serious legwork to make it all the way from the flat land of Guandu right up into Yangmingshan National Park. This section takes in art, grand tombs, an irrigation canal, and many, many steps.
GOUYINQIN OLD TRAIL ALONG WEILUN CANAL (狗殷勤古道/尾崙水圳/平頂古圳步道)
Tucked away behind the National Palace Museum you’ll find the unassuming entrance to this trail. If you’ve eaten your fill of museum exhibits and choose to follow the old stone steps up the hill, then you will come face to face with one aspect of life in old Taiwan which is still very much alive. The historic waterways in this area have been supplying water to the farms here for generations, and what could be more soothing than walking alongside flowing water.
EGRET HILL (白鷺鷥山)
Egret Hill is probably not on most people’s radar, but if you’re looking for a place for a family stroll, a lazy day walk then it’s definitely worth considering. As well as offering a short and straightforward walk through some pretty trees, the path leads you back to the MRT station via the beautiful Dahu Park.
XIAO XI TOU LOOP TRAIL (小溪頭環狀步道)
What starts of being a bit of a stair master soon gives way to reward you with a tree-sheltered lake, quiet forest scenery, squirrels, and even a couple of views.
QILIAN TO XIN BEITOU VIA REHAI CLIFF (唭哩岸站/熱海攀岩場/新北投)
Most walkers in the area come for Battleship Rock’s photogenic qualities, but if you’ve been there and done that, perhaps your next walk could be this alternative route through the hills of Beitou District.
MOUNT DATUN MULTI PEAK TRAIL (大屯主峰連峰步道)
Right on the western edge of Yangmingshan National Park you can find a quieter alternative to some of the park’s busier walks. The Mount Datun trail takes in three peaks. Short but strenuous roped sections lead you over the west and south peaks followed by some serious steps up to the main peak, and then a gentle coasting down to finish at Erziping.
DRAGON BOAT ROCK AND MOUNT KAIYAN TRAIL (開眼山/白石湖山/大邱田山/龍船岩O型路線)
A slightly scrappy scramble across several of Neihu’s peaks. This walk has the added bonus of passing some cute little land god shrines and a scenic spot popular with social media fans.
PINGDING HISTORIC CANAL TRAIL (坪頂古圳步道)
Some pretty easy walking in some exceedingly picturesque surroundings. Ping Ding Old Canal cuts its way through a quiet corner of Yangmingshan park where you can find gently flowing water and terrace farming to enjoy.
JIANTAN HIKING TRAIL TO WENDE (劍潭山親山往文德)
Sandwiched between the busy Zhongshan district and the more northern Shilin district rises a green ridge stretching from near Jiantan station in the west to Neihu in the east. A big network of trails of varying difficulties crisscrosses this area and offers the city explorer plenty of opportunities for fun.
MIANTIAN SHAN AND XIANG TIAN CRATER POOL (面天山/向天池)
Miantian shan trail offers an easy to follow path over some of Yangmingshan National Park’s western peaks. Go immediately after heavy rain in order to catch sight of the elusive xiang tian crater lake.
FIREFLY SPOTTING IN TAIPEI ON TIGER MOUNTAIN (虎山的螢火蟲)
You don’t need to travel to the remote mountains of central Taiwan to experience the magic of seeing fireflies lighting up the evening forest. Hushan has a trail within walking distance of the MRT which is adapted for firefly viewing in peak season. If you visit Taiwan in April or May, you should definitely set aside an evening to step into this enchanting realm of fireflies, night birds and noisy frogs.
SKIRTING THE ELEPHANT – NANGANG TRAIL / 95 PEAK / MUZHI SHAN / TIAOMI OLD TRAIL (南港步道 / 九五峰 / 拇指山 / 糶米古道)
A northeast to southwest route over the Nangang mountain range. This walk takes in many temples and some wonderful views of the city.
QINGTIANGANG CIRCULAR TRAIL (擎天崗環形步道)
A gentle and incredibly scenic circular route around the famous, cow-grazed grasslands of Qingtiangang in Yangmingshan National Park. This trail is accessible by public transport and should be ok for anyone who can handle some steps and an uneven walking surface. Make sure to come on a clear day, (when you can see Qixing Mountain peak from the city), in order to enjoy the views at their best.
JUANSI WATERFALL TRAIL to LENGSHUIKENG (絹絲瀑布/冷水坑)
A gentle and relaxing stroll beside a stream with plenty to enjoy. This walk will take you past a couple of historical remains, a charming waterfall, around a couple of interesting ponds, over Jingshan suspension bridge and finishes at Lengshuikeng Visitor Centre.
DRAGON TRAIL TO MAOKONG GONDOLA VIA ZHANGSHAN TEMPLE (飛龍步道/政大後山登山步道/樟山寺/貓空站)
A not-too-difficult loop walk where the downwards part of the loop can be done on the Maokong gondola. The highlight of this walk for me was the free tea I enjoyed at Zhangshan Temple.
QIXING SHAN ROUND MOUNTAIN TRAIL (環七星山人車分道)
This circular route is an excellent way to experience some of Yangmingshan Park’s top attractions. Start early and make a day of it to get the most out of this varied walk.
ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN, THUMB MOUNTAIN AND 95 PEAK ON THE NANGANG TRAIL (南港山佈道: 象山 / 拇指山 / 九五峰)
Escape the hoards of tourists taking selfies at that most famous of Taipei’s scenic views by exploring beyond elephant mountain. This easy route takes you higher to muzhi mountain and 95 peak, all the while offering great vantage points and lots of hidden shrines to discover.
XIANJI YAN TRAIL (仙跡岩觀山步道)
A shady wander over one of Wenshan District’s smaller hills with added mythstorical (myth+historical) features.
MOUNT SHAMAO TRAIL (紗帽山)
An easy spring hike in Yangmingshan national park for lizard lovers to enjoy. If you go at the right time of day, you can soak your feet (and body) afterwards in the public hot spring baths.
XIHU TO DA LUN WEI HILL (西湖往大崙尾山)
A pick-your-own-ending style ramble around the hills north of Neihu.
ERGE SHAN VIA NANBANGLIAO LOOP (二格山，南邦寮山)
This short loop at the edge of civilisation offers a quick getaway from the city.
JIAOKENG HIKING TRAIL TO QINGTIANGANG (礁坑古道)
Forested ridges, wide open grasslands, cows – this short hike has lots to offer.
XIAO NANGANG HILL TRAIL (小南港山步道)
Xiao Nangang Hill is a peaceful, scenic wander within walking distance of the MRT.
JIANTAN MOUNTAIN HIKING TRAIL (劍潭山步道)
Easily accessible by MRT and bus, this trail gives you a glimpse of weekend entertainment in modern-day Taipei and touches on both its military history and present.
QIXING SHAN (七星山)
An exciting hike through the uplands of Yangmingshan National Park with the promise of a hotspring soak for your feet at the end.
TIANMU OLD TRAIL (天母古道)
A shady walk with easy public transport access and the possibility of meeting some of Taiwan’s monkey population.