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.
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.
BATTLESHIP ROCK TO XIN BEITOU (軍艦岩往新北投)
You can combine a visit to this photogenic rock outcrop with a not-too-difficult walk to a rather pretty Japanese shrine and end up right next to Beitou's famous sulphur valley.
CAOLING HISTORIC TRAIL (草嶺古道)
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.
FUYUAN ANCIENT BANYAN TRAIL (福源山步道)
A quiet and pretty hiking trail just outside of Taipei. Along the way you can enjoy quirks of nature like the thousand year banyan tree and a lily pond half way up a mountain (well, it's more of a big hill really).
ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN, THUMB MOUNTAIN AND 95 PEAK ON THE NANGANG TRAIL (南港山佈道: 象山 / 拇指山 / 九五峰)
Escape the hoards of tourists taking selfies at that most famous of Taipei's scenic views by exploring beyond elephant mountain. This easy route takes you higher to muzhi mountain and 95 peak, all the while offering great vantage points and lots of hidden shrines to discover.
XIHU TO DA LUN WEI HILL (西湖往大崙尾山)
A pick-your-own-ending style ramble around the hills north of Neihu.
SILENG HOT SPRING (四稜溫泉)
A challenging climb will lead you to this wild hotspring hidden in the shade of a valley.
WU LIAO JIAN (五寮尖)
A very exciting full body hiking experience with great views and challenging climbs.
CUEI LAKE AND NEIGOU SHAN TRAIL (翠湖/內溝山步道)
Fun scramble through a hidden valley just to the east of Taipei.
XINLIAO WATERFALL TRAIL (新寮瀑布)
A super short amble to an impressive waterfall.