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.

MAOSING MAIN TRAIL (茂興步道主線)


Of the two trails accessible from Taipingshan’s iconic bong bong train, Maosing Main Trail is both the longer and flatter option. It follows the course of the old tracks for a gentle 1km wander through grand forest scenery.

MAOSING LOOP TRAIL (茂興懷舊步道環線)

Riding the bright yellow bong bong train is one of Taipingshan’s most memorable experiences. The twenty minute journey takes you to Maosing Station where you have the choice of two short trails to explore.

JANCING HISTORIC TRAIL (見晴懷古步道)


Taipingshan’s Jancing Historic Trail is probably one of the most instantly recognisable trails that Taiwan has to offer, and for good reason. This easy stroll has won the hearts of locals and tourists alike for its mixture of stunning natural scenery and historical significance.

TAIPINGSHAN CYPRESS TRAIL (檜木原始林步道)


Located high up in the mountainous forests in the South of Yilan County, Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area is home to spectacular old forests. The Cypress Trail offers a very easy introduction to this special landscape.

CUEIFENG LAKE CIRCULAR TRAIL (翠峰湖環山步道)


Cueifeng Lake was Taiwan’s first ever officially designated silent trail. The thick carpet of lush mosses and frequent cloud cover mean that the area exists in a perpetual hush – it’s the perfect antidote to city life.

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?

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.

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