RIDGE WALKS and ROPES

Some of the best known trails in northern Taiwan are ridge walks: Huangdidian, Stegosaurus Ridge, Wuliaojian – all of these feature exhilarating scrambles up steep slopes with cracking views. If you want something that’s bound to get your heart pumping and reward your efforts with handsome views, then the trails below should whet your appetite.

TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 2B

This section of the Taipei Skyline Trail was an unexpected delight. It has the twin charms of both a fun ridge walk and a temple-studded historic trail.

TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 2A

This section of the Taipei Skyline Trail covers one of the quintessential Taipei day hikes: the spectacular Huangdidian. Bring a camera and a well-rested body, and come prepared for a very fun walk.

TAIPEI SKYLINE TRAIL: SECTION 1B

This section of the Taipei Skyline Trail really packs in the views. Taking you from Caonan in the east to Shiding in the west, it offers thrilling climbing and some tantalising views over the famous Huangdidian Ridge.

FIVE FINGER MOUNTAIN (五指山五峰連走O型)

Five Finger Mountain (or Mount Wuzhi), is so named because of the five prominent peaks that protrude along the ridge line. Instantly recognisable from afar, the conjoined summits do indeed (loosely) resemble a waving hand, and the trail connecting them make for a very enjoyable day’s walking.

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.

HOUSHANYUE (猴山岳)

Houshanyue is a thoroughly satisfying half-day hike that will satisfy your need for adventure without spoiling your lie-in.

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.

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.

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.

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.

95 PEAK AND NANGANG SHAN THE SCARY WAY (南港山步道2號峭壁)

NOTE: DUE TO A NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS IN THE AREA THE ROPE TRAILS ARE NOW CLOSED. Think the Nangang mountain range has nothing challenging to offer? Think elephant mountain is the height of excitement? Think again. Hidden between the ridge path of the Nangang trail and the network of small paths around the lower reaches, there are a series of more difficult climbs to tackle. This route incorporates the hardest of them all.

SHINIU SHAN (石牛山)

This unexpectedly enjoyable loop just south of Shimen reservoir combines a fun upwards scramble with attractive views from the peak and a much gentler route down.

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