WATERY WALKS IN TAIWAN

There’s something particularly relaxing about a walk by a stream, and doubly so if you can have a quick dip. All of the walks featured here either follow a stream, or spend significant portions of their length alongside the water.

NUANDONG VALLEY LOOP (暖東峽谷O型)

This short and sweet loop in Keelung’s overlooked Nuannuan District makes a great half day exploration. The trail tracks through quiet woodland and boasts beautiful views of water-sculpted rocks, as well as a couple of stream crossings and a photogenic land god temple thrown in for good measure.

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.

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.

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.

DENG FENG CANAL TRAIL (登峰圳步道)

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.

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.

GOUYINQIN OLD TRAIL ALONG WEILUN CANAL (狗殷勤古道/尾崙水圳/平頂古圳步道)

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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.

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.

PINGDING HISTORIC CANAL TRAIL (坪頂古圳步道)

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Some pretty easy walking in some exceedingly picturesque surroundings. Ping Ding Old Canal cuts its way through a quiet corner of Yangmingshan park where you can find gently flowing water and terrace farming to enjoy.

ZHI GAO ZHEN TRAIL LOOP (知高圳O型縱走)


Zhi Gao Zhen is a small canal in Wuri that draws water from Fazi River to irrigate farms in Nantun, Wuri and Dadu. The shaded and well-paved trail stretches from Wuri to Dadu District and with the sound of the water playing as backdrop music, it is a gentle trail, perfect for a weekend stroll with the family. If you have a little more energy, you can turn it into a loop by adding a short scramble up to a low overlook with views over Changhua.

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