Most of the Taipei Skyline Trail's sixth instalment covers trails within Taipei National Park. This first half takes you along the same route as the Taipei Grand Hike, and also happens to be one of the prettiest easily-accessed walks in the park.
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.
MOUNT WANGYELUN and LONGLIN BIZARRE STONES (王爺崙山/龍鱗奇岩)
There's some fun hiking to be had in the hills around Tainan. Case in point is this neat little loop in Nanhua District. It has rocky scrambles, beautiful, sprawling trees, and (in clear weather), great views of the surrounding area.
ZHONGGANG MAIN DRAINAGE TRAIL (中港大排)
You could be forgiven for thinking that New Taipei's heavily industrial Xinzhuang District doesn't have any beauty spots worth investigating. But have you visited Zhonggang Main Drainage Trail yet? Taroko Gorge, it's not, but for an inner city wander, it's not too shabby.
JIANTAN TRAIL NIGHT HIKE (劍潭山步道夜爬)
There are lots of trails close to the city that offer opportunities for exploring after dark. The ever popular Jiantan Hiking Trail is one such route - although if you visit at night you can expect to have the paths almost entirely to yourselves.
NANGANG TEA MOUNTAIN TRAIL (南港茶山步道 )
If you picture Nangang District in your mind what do you see? The train station? The exhibition centre? The giant software park? I bet you didn’t envision quiet hillsides cloaked with neat rows of tea. This trail offers an insight into a side of Nangang that not so many people know about.
NEIHU’S PATH LESS TRAVELLED
The hills around Jinmian Shan are crisscrossed with hiking trails of varying degrees of popularity and difficulty. This post details one of the quieter walks that you can do in the area.
ZHENGHAN TRAIL (鄭漢紀念步道)
Zhenghan Trail is a short and easy trail that would be suitable for almost anyone. The walk climbs to an outlook which has a memorial to a local man and views over Miaoli’s Zhunan District.
MOUNT EGONGJI and MOUNT NIAOZUI (鵝公髻山/鳥嘴山)
Situated in Hsinchu's Wufeng Township, Mount Egongj and its neighbour Mount Niaozui offer a great day's walking. Hikers can take in both dramatic views and photogenic forests on this enjoyable route.
FROG ROCK PARK COASTAL TRAIL (青蛙石海洋步道)
Frog Rock Coastal Trail is a short and easy walk just off the main drag of relaxed beach town, Kenting. As well as a tiny coral beach and coastal views, visitors can explore a beautiful replica of a traditional Minnan style village.
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.
TEA MOUNTAIN TRAIL (茶山步道)
Tea Mountain Trail sits just little north of Jinshan on Taiwan's northern coast. This easy walk does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a mountain, and there's tea growing on it. It's perhaps not the most thrilling walk out there, but it's a pleasant walk in a part of Taiwan that I haven't spent nearly enough time in.
SCISSORS ROCK NIGHT HIKE (剪刀石夜爬)
Scissors Rock is up there with Elephant Mountain in terms of its popularity among the easily accessible trails of Taipei. But unlike it's Xinyi District counterpart, this trail in Neihu falls quiet as soon as night settles on the city. Travellers willing to brave the dark will be treated to peaceful city views and maybe even a flying squirrel (or two, or five)
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: WANTAN HISTORIC TRAIL and BEISHI RIVER TRAIL (淡蘭古道：灣潭古道/三水潭/北勢溪古道)
The walk along Wantan Historic Trail and Beishi River Trail is soul-comforting waterside wander between villages in New Taipei's sorely overlooked Shuangxi District. Bring a picnic and get ready to soak in some gently spectacular scenery.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: WUTUKU to PINGLIN (淡蘭古道：烏塗窟/坪林)
The stretch of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails that tracks over the hills between Shiding and Pinglin Districts takes you past relics of the coal industry into the heart of New Taipei City’s tea growing region.