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.
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.
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.
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)
Guizikeng Trail is a short and easy walk in Beitou District. In the spring you can see cherry blossom, in summer you can come to enjoy the irrigation canal, and in winter you can round off the day with a trip to the nearby hot springs.
A short walk in the southeastern corner of Yangmingshan National Park. This trail would make the perfect picnic walk to beat the summer heat.
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.
A quiet and gentle stroll along some of the irrigation canals in the hills of Shilin District. This would make a great summer walk for those hoping to escape the city heat.
As with almost all of Taipei’s large rivers, the Xindian River has well-maintained cycle paths stretching for many kilometres along its banks. This gentle ride upriver towards Bitan is a great way to stretch your legs and enjoy scenery that becomes more and more dramatic the further south you go.
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.
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.
A short and simple river bikeway which can be combined with a trip up to Maokong. For the more adventurous, you can turn this into an all day, three-modes of transportation trip by then walking down from Maokong via Yinhe Cave.
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.
Egret Hill is probably not on most people's radar, but if you're looking for a place for a family stroll, a lazy day walk then it's definitely worth considering. As well as offering a short and straightforward walk through some pretty trees, the path leads you back to the MRT station via the beautiful Dahu Park.
If you look at Sanchong and Luzhou on a map, they seem to form an island, cut off from the rest of Taipei by rivers and parks. Luckily for the residents of this area, these unbuilt-up spaces house a great network of cycle paths where you can enjoy either a good bit of exercise or a laid back bike ride depending on your mood and energy levels.