One of the things I love about Taipei, and hence one of my regrets of not finding a job there, is the wealth of nature and trails within easy access of public transportation. I thought it would be useful to make a thread with a compilation of information on both better and lesser known walks available to residents and visitors to the city. I’ll start with the ones I know. I don’t have a clear format in mind but name, difficulty & time, location and how to get there would be useful.
Work in progress. Add your own information or correction mine, and write about other hikes I or others don’t know, that you believe are worth knowing about.
Teapot Mountain - A fantastic viewpoint of the mountainside villages and north coast just East of Keelung, and right next to the more famous Jiufen. Arguably the best day hike you can do in Taiwan.
Directions: Take the 1062 bus from Zhongxiao Fuxing station. It will stop in Jinguashi. Wonder around the town and you’ll find a path leading up behind a large temple. After several nice big flights of stairs and you’ll reach a stretch of road that leads to the mountain trail (you could also drive here). Teapot mountain doesn’t take too long to climb up. However if you choose to keep going on to Banpingshan and beyond it will take several hours. I missed the trail leading on through the teapot onto Banpingshan so I have to give it another try and report back later.
-Teapot Mountain - Should be doable by any ablebodied person. However climbing through the rocks in the ‘teapot’ may require some strength and dexterity.
-Banpingshan -> Jiufen:
-Teapot Mountain - I’d estimate about 1 hour from the bus stop, add a bit more going down.
Jiantanshan - 劍潭山
This is a fairly large mountain connecting the area around the red MRT line and brown MRT line. The trailhead was a little tricky to find. It’s south of Jiantan mrt, and north of the Grand Hotel, past a bowling alley. The start is fairly steep but it evens out. There’s a popular lookout called 老地方 (old place) where you can see the planes take off and land from Songshan airport. From there you can continue until you reach some roads that leads to some mountainside temples, a military post and a neighbourhood before reaching the Jiannan rd MRT station.
Location: Near Jiantan MRT station
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Duration: roughly 2 hours
Elephant Mountain/Four beasts trail
Everyone knows of Elephant Mountain so I won’t go into it alone. You can go up and down within 20 minutes if you’re fit, although the steepness makes it quite exhausting.
If you’re feeling more adventourous however, The area beyond has multiple trails to follow. I’ll describe this later.
The most people peak in Yangmingshan national park, it gives splendid views of Taipei and the surrounding mountains and coast. There are two main trails up. Rather than going into detail myself I’ll like the guide I used, which goes into detail on how to get there and how to complete it: https://www.englishintaiwan.com/travel-in-taiwan/north-taiwan-travel/taipei-yangming-shan-seven-stars-peak-hike
As mentioned above, Miapu trail is the tough one.
How to get there: You can take the 260 bus from outside Taipei Main Station to the final stop in Yangmingshan. From there it’s a short walk to the visitor’s centre, and from there the Miaopu trail. If you want to start from the xiaoyoukong trail there is another bus that goes between here and there, although I forget the number.
Qixingshan (七星山） - Su’ao, Yilan (宜蘭蘇澳)
Hiking in the peak of summer doesn’t appeal to many. However there’s a great payoff waiting for you at the end of the walk. You can either start from the cold springs park near Su’ao station and return, however I prefer getting off at xin suao station, then making to walk to the trailhead on the other side, with the reward of the cold springs beckoning. The hike also has excellent views of the harbor below.
Bailushishan - 白鷺？山
This one is fairly short. maybe 30-45 mins. I’ll tell you a trick though. Get off at Neihu station and walk down Jinhu rd for about 15 minutes. There you will reach the trailhead on the other side of Dahu park. There’s not much lookout points although I like a spot that looks over the lake and railway, along with the mountains beyond. The reward once you reach the other side is that Dahu Park also has a big swimming complex where you can enjoy a deserved cool down and relaxation session.
Location: Dahu park (Dahu park station or Neihu station MRT brown line)
Difficulty: Short but fairly steep
Duration: 30-45 mins