NEW TAIPEI CITY HIKING TRAILS

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See all hikes in New Taipei. Walks listed with the most recent at the top.

MOUNT WUFEN (五分山)


Mount Wufen is a rewarding half day hike in northern Taiwan’s Pingxi District. Ideal for Taipei-based day trippers looking for a scenic walk, this trail will take you up through lush forests to an open grassy ridge with expansive views over the many-layered hills of Pingxi.

SANXIA LION’S HEAD MOUNTAIN (獅仔頭山/粽串尖)


Lion’s Head Mountain on the border of New Taipei’s Sanxia and Xindian Districts is one of several similarly named peaks scattered across the various counties of Taiwan. This particular lion offers excitement and adventure with a dash of history, and a visit is well worth the trouble of getting out there.

JINGUASHI AQUEDUCT TRAIL (山尖路步道)


This short trail linking the two popular tourist villages of Jiufen and Jinguashi takes you past aqueducts that were used during the area’s industrial past. It’s a great way to stretch your legs after sampling the edible delights of Jiufen Old Street.

LINGJIAO and WANGGU WATERFALLS (嶺腳瀑布/望古瀑布)


The Lingjiao to Wanggu Trail packs an awful lot into its short length. You get not one, but two waterfalls, a dash of history and a trail that’s both pretty and gentle. It’s also short enough that you can combine it with a visit to some of the other sights and trails along the Pingxi Line.

TUCHENG TUNG BLOSSOM TRAIL (土城油桐花步道)


Every April and May the mountains around Taipei are cloaked with the white blossom of the tung tree. Getting out to observe this May ‘snowfall’ is a popular activity amongst the locals, and this trail in Tucheng is one of many places you can go to join in.

TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: XIZHI to RUIFANG (淡蘭古道:汐止/暖暖/瑞芳)


The northernmost span of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails follows the course of the Keelung River upriver from Taipei almost as far as the coast before veering south towards Jiufen. The section between Xizhi and Ruifang jumps from small town to small town, passing lots of temples and traces of history along the way.

TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: NEIGANJIAO to SHIFEN (淡蘭古道中路:內柑腳/十分)

The stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan trails leading into Shifen from the south is probably the quietest section of the middle route, but don’t let that put you off. This really has the feel of a functional historic trail, leading you over the hills and across the valley from one village to another. And those who walk it south to north can reward themselves with some snacks from Shifen Old Street.

TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: DALI to YILAN (淡蘭古道北路:大里/外澳/頭城/礁溪/宜蘭)


This leg of the journey ties up the northern, middle and southern routes on their route into the centre of Yilan. Along the way you can stop to take in some grand coastal scenery, soak up the sun at the surfer beach in Wai’ao, visit Toucheng’s historic old street and dip your toes in Jiaoxi’s hot spring waters. Although it may not seem like the obvious place to go for a stroll, those who do walk this way will certainly find plenty to keep themselves interested.

TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: FULONG to DALI (淡蘭古道北路:福隆/大里)

This stretch of the northern Tamsui-Kavalan Trails connects the relaxed beach town of Fulong with the fishing villages of Shicheng and Dali. On the way it takes you past the old Caoling Tunnel, and perhaps even follows the route taken by Wusha – the immigrant credited with being ‘the pioneer of Yilan’.

TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: PINGXI TOU to WAI’AO (淡蘭古道中路:坪溪頭/外澳)


If you know anyone who isn’t yet sold on the natural and cultural delights of Taiwan, then take them by the hand and lead them to the start of this trail for a condensed highlights-reel version of everything that makes me love this charming island. This portion of the middle Tamsui-Kavalan Trails follows the footsteps of the tea-traders of yesteryear over clear streams and vibrant forests to a mountain top and the coast beyond. Along the way you’ll meet the many gods who they trusted to keep them safe on their travels, and if you’re not utterly smitten with Taiwan by the time you finish, then you don’t have a heart.

XINDIAN LION’S HEAD MOUNTAIN HIKING TRAIL (新店獅頭山登山步道)

Lion’s Head Mountain is unassuming peak at the sourthernmost terminus of Taipei’s Songshan-Xindian line which holds unexpected opportunities for adventure. Popular with the local population of retirees, this network of paths is well furnished with shelters, and looping trails around the hillside with changing city-scapes at every turn.

JINGUALIAO FISH AND FERN TRAIL (金瓜寮魚蕨步道)


Nestled away in the tea-growing hills of Pinglin walkers can find the perfect antidote to summer’s relentless heat: Jingualiao Fish and Fern Trail. This family-friendly trail meanders alongside Jingualiao Creek, and would be a perfect picnic spot.

GUANYIN SHAN – NORTHERN CROSS ROUTE (觀音山北橫古道)


Anyone who has hiked in Yangmingshan National Park and cast their gaze across the Tamsui River towards Bali will have noticed the multiple peaks clustered around Guanyin Shan. This trail covers many of those peaks, and is a much more interesting walk than the stone steps that also climb to the top.

PINGXI CRAGS (平溪小三尖)


This is one of the all-time classic Taiwan hikes, and for good reason. Pingxi’s crags rise dramatically from the forest and are the perfect adventure playground for visitors from Taipei.

YUE SHAN HU CLIFF LOOP (月扇湖大岩壁)


Shiding is famous amongst hikers for being the starting point of Huandidian’s dramatic ridge walk, but the area has more to offer than that. Just a ten minute drive from Shiding Old Street you can find the start of Yue Shan Hu Cliff Trail – a fascinating little loop with some spectacular geology and a few traces of the area’s past life as a mining town.

DACUKENG OLD TRAIL (大粗坑古道)

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Now inhabited solely by stray dogs, the abandoned settlement of Dacukeng was once a thriving village supported by the profits of the area’s abundant ‘black gold’ – coal. Climb the stairs to see what’s left of this community, and then continue of to Jiufen for some well-earned snacks.

ZHONGYANG PITON and CHOU TOU SHAN (中央尖/臭頭山)


This moderately challenging walk has exciting climbs, some neat geological features, the odd dramatic view, pretty stream-side walking, and even a touch of Taiwan’s industrial history. What’s more, it can accessed by train from Taipei.

TAOYUAN VALLEY TRAIL (桃源谷步道)


The Taoyuan Valley Trail is one of those that’s right up there in all of the listicles outlining the ‘top 10 hikes in northern Taiwan’, and whilst that means you’re unlikely to find solitude in the hills here, the popularity is for good reason. For those who prefer to follow well-marked routes and not stray too far from the beaten path, then the views offered by this trail are hard to best.

RUYI LAKE and JINMING SHAN (如意湖/金明山)


A small, but perfectly formed hike tucked away in a corner of New Taipei City’s Xizhi District. Despite being only a couple of kilometres long, this walk manages to pack in some ridge climbing, a small lake and a few views.

XIONG KONG NAN SHAN and YUNSEN FALLS (熊空南山/雲森瀑布)


This has definitely been one of my favourite hikes of the year. The walk starts with a reasonable climb through quiet and multi-layered forests to a peak that remained cool and breezy even in the summer heat. Then tracks down again to follow the playful Zhongkeng Stream as it spills and bounces it’s way through the valley. There are mountain views, grand waterfalls and even swimming holes to be enjoyed along the way. I will be adding this to my list of places to take visiting friends.

YONGHE RIDGE LOOP (國旗嶺/鄧公嶺/烘爐地南山福德宮)

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Whilst Taipei’s northern and eastern hills tend to get most of the attention, this trail to the southwest of the city has plenty to offer the traveller who strays from the well-trodden trails of Yangmingshan Park. Indeed, as the locals know, Yonghe District has well-trodden paths of its own to explore. This route takes in ancient banyans, views to both the north and the south, all manner of trail types and enough temples to satisfy the very keenest of temple aficionados.

MOUNT HEMEI TRAIL (和美山步道)


Once a highlight of Taiwan’s domestic tourism industry, Bitan is now a relaxed feeling, end-of-the-line destination, mostly populated by families looking for an easy day out. To see a different side of this weekend hotspot you can cross over the suspension bridge and take a walk up one of the trails up to Hemei Peak. With it’s abandoned amusement park and the return trip on the lone surviving paddle ferry, this really is a wander into Bitan’s past.

HUANGDIDIAN (皇帝殿)


This is the hike that made me fall in love with the trails and landscape of Taiwan. The first time I walked it was before I lived here, and the impression it made ran deep. This trail pretty much has it all: enthralling mountain views, exhilarating ridge walking, invigorating climbs and, (if you’re feeling bold enough), the opportunity to experience that famous Taiwanese friendliness by trying your hand at hitchhiking rather than walking back along the road.

YUAN SHAN HIKING TRAIL (鳶山登山步道)

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The first hike that comes to mind when thinking of Sanxia District is the ever-popular Wuliaojian trail. But if you’re not feeling up to such a tough climb, you could always set your sights on this not-so-extreme ridge walk.

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.

XIU QI SHAN TRAIL (秀崎山登山步道)


A short and easy meander over some of the less frequented hills of the northeastern coast. Given how convenient the trains are, this would make a good place to come for a quick half-day adventure out of Taipei.

BIJIA RIDGE TO ERGE SHAN (筆架連峰)


If you’ve ever travelled to Yilan on Freeway Number 5, you might have glanced right just before you entered the first of the long tunnels and seen a tree-coated ridge running towards the west. If you’re like me, that glimpse of intriguingly knobbly peaks and dips might have lead you to wonder what walking possibilities were hidden by the lush green foliage. The answer is the Bijia ridge trail – a strenuous, (but not difficult), and enjoyable trek which offers occasional great views and plenty of fun hiking.

WULAI SHAN TO DATONG SHAN (烏來山 / 大桶山)

This challenging, but exceedingly fun route leads you from one of northern Taiwan’s most scenic hot spring villages up some steep scrambles with great views over the valley. Remember to bring a towel and you can treat your tired feet to a soak in Wulai’s mineral-rich waters at the end of the hike.

YINGGE ROCK TRAIL (鶯歌石登山步道)


A short and sweet loop out of Yingge’s ceramics neighbourhood. Sights on this walk include views over Sanxia, shrines in naturally hollowed out caves and a close-up view of the eponymous Yingge Rock, (a large bird-shaped stone which was said to have emitted toxic vapours until it was cannoned by Koxinga’a army).

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.

CAOLING HISTORIC TRAIL (草嶺古道)

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This historic and very accessible trail will take you over the hills from Dali to Fulong next to an inviting river stream. Better yet, you can look forward to a refreshing swim once you've reached your destination.

QILONGLING HIKING TRAIL HALF LOOP (青龍嶺登山步道)

For those who like to enjoy a range of exercise in one adventure, head to the hills of Shulin District where you can enjoy a short, brisk walk before a refreshing swim (and exercise your vocal chords with a spot of mountain karaoke).