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.
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.
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.
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.
Taking the old mining town of Shifen as its starting point this section of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails takes you up towards Mount Wufen before plunging down into shady valleys on its way to Nuannuan. There are some lovely scenes to enjoy along the way including a bright red trailside temple and a spectacular ravine.
TAMSUI-KAVALAN TRAILS: BEISHI RIVER and ZHONGKENG HISTORIC TRAIL LOOP (淡蘭古道中路：崩山坑古道/北勢溪古道/闊瀨古道/放山坑古道/中坑步道O型)
The icing on the cake of the Tamsui-Kavalan Trails, this route comprised of five stitched together historic trails shows you some of the most beautiful scenery you can find in northern Taiwan.
The first stretch of road leading out of Shenkeng isn’t much to write home about, but the rest of the journey soon makes up for it. The sound of water accompanies you for most of the way, as the trail sticks close to first Jingmei Stream, then Wutuku Stream, going against the flow as you head away from Taipei.
This section’s use of riverside cycle paths makes it a very accessible stretch of the southern Tamsui-Kavalan Trails. What’s more, this ease of walking doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice beautiful views since the scenery around Pinglin has its own effortless prettiness.
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.
One for the water lovers, Tonghou Stream trail is a delightful adventure in the quiet hills above Yilan. Its relative difficulty to access means that the scenery is still beautifully pristine.
A short walk in the southeastern corner of Yangmingshan National Park. This trail would make the perfect picnic walk to beat the summer heat.
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.
A very watery wander along a pretty historic trail in New Taipei’s Shuangxi District.
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.
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.
During the first three months of the year, this trail in Beitou is popular with sakura seekers. But even if you miss out on the beautiful blossoming trees, this walk still has plenty to offer. The walk takes in irrigation canals, streams, plenty of small temples and the dramatic sight of Sulphur Valley.
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.
A gentle trail following Jiu Liao Creek up towards the 30m high Gaba falls. The path is dotted with information boards explaining various aspects of Atayal life and several interesting bridges carry you over the water.
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.
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 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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