HIKES IN TAWAN’S NATIONAL PARKS

Taiwan Currently has nine national parks with a combined land area of almost 7,500 square kilometres. In addition to these, there are also multiple forest recreation areas and nature parks which all enjoy some degree of environmental protection. Some of these parks require a ticket or permit to enter, but others are free.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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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.

GOUYINQIN OLD TRAIL ALONG WEILUN CANAL (狗殷勤古道/尾崙水圳/平頂古圳步道)

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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.

DATUN STREAM TRAIL LOOP (三板橋/竿尾崙山/小觀音山西北峰/大屯溪古道)


This loop trail takes you to a wilder edge of Yangmingshan Park that many visitors never see. The first section is a tough climb through quiet, dense forest. The mid section takes you scrambling from peak to peak through a maze of bamboo. And during the final section all your hard work is rewarded as you experience the sheer pleasure of following a delightful stream carving its way down through a luscious valley.

MOUNT DATUN MULTI PEAK TRAIL (大屯主峰連峰步道)

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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.

XIAO GUANYIN SHAN LOOP WALK (小觀音山O型縱走)

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A moderately difficult and very fun loop hike with absolutely stunning views over Yangmingshan Park’s bamboo cloaked northern hills. This is one of my favourite walks in this area and a must for anyone seeking to get away from the crowds at Qixing peak.

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.

SANDIAOLING WATERFALL TRAIL (三貂嶺瀑布步)

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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.

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.