FANTASTIC FOREST HIKES IN TAIWAN

You’ve no doubt heard of forest bathing, the act of immersing oneself in the lush greenery of forests as a form of nature therapy for the body and soul. Proponents say that the negatively ions found in heavily wooded environments can interact with our own biochemistry, triggering an increase in serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’), lowering blood pressure, and boosting energy levels. If you feel you’re in need of some forest bathing, these tree-filled hiking trails will give you plenty of time to be at one with nature.

MOUNT MALUN (馬崙山)

At 2305m high, Mount Malun is the second highest among Guguan’s Seven Heroes, but despite its lofty nature, it’s not a difficult climb. The long trail climbs gently (well almost gently), through different types of forest landscape and past the remains of an old logging village.

ALISHAN SISTERS PONDS LOOP (阿里山:姐妹池O型)


Alishan has been a popular destination with tourists for decades, the lure of the mountain air and beautiful forest scenery drawing in the crowds. These days visitors still flock to the park to enjoy the forest, the sunrise and the picturesque little red trains that ply the narrow-gauge tracks through the trees. This trail will take you on a short and easy wander around some of the sights.

MOUNT WU WO WEI (屋我尾山)


At 1796m above sea level Mount Wu Wo Wei is the third highest of the Guguan Seven Heroes. There are two routes to the peak, and since this post details the harder of the two, you can expect to have the peaceful forest to yourself for most of the walk.

BEIDELAMAN GIANT TREES (北得拉曼巨木步道)

Although most of Taiwan’s giant trees are found in remote forests with permit-restricted access, there are some just a short drive out of Taipei which can be seen by anyone willing to make the climb. (And who wouldn’t be willing to put in a bit of effort to visit these venerable old spirits.)

MAI BA LAI SHAN (麥巴來山)

When we signed in at the trailhead, the person manning the register said “the mountain is yours today, there’s no one else.” He wasn’t wrong. Mai Ba Lai is never going to lure the crowds in search of Instagrammable views, but it offers another kind of draw: quietness and seemingly endless forest.

ZHI SHENG MAO TAI SHAN (芝生毛台山)


This very wild feeling trail leads you up a steep forested ridge through huge bamboo groves, into the domain of wild boars and barking deer, past hunting shelters and the traces of Taiwan’s period of Japanese occupation.