Walks listed with the most recent at the top. There might be some overlap between easy and moderate hikes.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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)
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.
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 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.
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 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.
A short walk in the southeastern corner of Yangmingshan National Park. This trail would make the perfect picnic walk to beat the summer heat.
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 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 miniature landmarks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A short, unpolished trail in Neihu District. This walk has a couple of views and leads back through some allotments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A shady wander over one of Wenshan District’s smaller hills with added mythstorical (myth+historical) features.
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.
A pick-your-own-ending style ramble around the hills north of Neihu.
This short loop at the edge of civilisation offers a quick getaway from the city.
Forested ridges, wide open grasslands, cows – this short hike has lots to offer.
Xiao Nangang Hill is a peaceful, scenic wander within walking distance of the MRT.
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.
An exciting hike through the uplands of Yangmingshan National Park with the promise of a hotspring soak for your feet at the end.
A shady walk with easy public transport access and the possibility of meeting some of Taiwan’s monkey population.