Taipei Metro Guide to Hiking and Cycling- reviews

I though I’d start this thread about the trails in this guide (available, free at your MRT station). Please add your own reviews of trails.

I did the Guizikeng trail (page 7-8). I wanted to find out if it was suitable for a hiking club walk. In my opinion it is not.

I walked the whole trail from the MRT. The first five minutes are plesant enough, taking you behind the back of some houses and close to the MRT line - trainspotters will be in heaven :unamused: After crossing the road it is another thirty minutes to get to the trail head itself. This is on boring, paved and dog shit littered tarmac - although it does give you the chance to view your destination.

Once you get to the trail head it is almost vertical for a kilometer or so. It then levels out - this is the most ardous part. The rest of the walk is easy. The whole trail is well signed posted - even a dumb twat like me couldn’t get lost.

Unfortunately there is no “peak” in which to aim for - just a disappointing turn in the path and one of those silly “stamp your hiking book” stations. If you follow the loop trail you’ll end up back when you began.

Some good things: Photo opportunities for the city are good. Shortly after the bookstamping station there is a quiet waterfall. The path today was very quiet.

Some bad things: The distance you cover from the MRT is a waste of time. The whole route is paved either with tarmac or rocks.

Obsevations: Don’t bother walking the whole 7K; drive up to where the loop starts. When you drive back down you can stop for great noodles at the place on the corner (We ate there last time) The time in the guide is bollocks; I completed the trail and had lunch in 2 hours 20 not 3hrs25. I would suggest this walk if you fancy an easy stroll on a Sunday afternoon. I would rate the whole experience 4/10. I’m being generous. If I discount the tarmac section maybe a 6/10 because of the views.

I noticed that there were two things not shown on this map. 1, an off shoot trail to Xaiopingding (might be worth a try if you skip the tarmac section) 2, (Not on this map) It looks as if you can link two trails together to make a longer walk (Might be interesting).

There you go. Please add your own. It would be nice to see if we can do all 10.

L.

Where do you find this guide? I ride the MRT almost every day and regularly pick up the monthly programs of the concert hall and national theater, Cultural Express and other city government publications on the display shelves, but have never seen this guide. Do I have to ask for it at the information booth?

Also, please say in what part of the city the hike is in. I know you said hike 7,8, but I don’t have the book yet, and even when I do, I’d still like to know when I read about a place.

I’ll look for the book tomorrow. BTW, does it include the hike from the Jingmei MRT station, the Fairy Footprint trail? I highly recommend this hike for a short jaunt after work. The trail is lit until 9pm and only takes an hour or less to do. I have never seen more than a handful of people at night, and it is spotlessly clean.

Those who live in Muzha can, like I do, continue along the river afterwards. For a longer hike one could continue along the river to the Zoo Station. The hike would then be about 2.5 hours. Again, you can do it at night because the way is lit.

seeker4 and I did this last Thursday. At the top of the ridge we sat on the rocks and had a beer. Taipei spread out below us. You can barely hear traffic up here and the city views at night are excellent.

Irishstu actually gave it ito me. I assume he took it off the rack next to the theatre guides. Irishstu?

[quote=“Muzha Man”]Also, please say in what part of the city the hike is in. I know you said hike 7,8, but I don’t have the book yet, and even when I do, I’d still like to know when I read about a place.

I’ll look for the book tomorrow. BTW, does it include the hike from the Jingmei MRT station, the Fairy Footprint trail?.[/quote]

This trail is in northen Taipei close to the Fuxinggang station (Danshui line).

The booklet doesn’t include the Jingmei trail - it only mentions cycling in that area.

L :smiley:

Well, that’s what happens when people don’t consult me. :slight_smile:

ya, i also have the book too, but was not as ambitious as Limey. i got it from the pamplet area at the mrt station. if you don’t see it maybe try asking the guy in the box, sometimes they are hiding some good stuff inside.

Nearly every MRT station that I’ve seen has a rack of pamphlets (like Ratbrain mentioned) just before or just after the turnstiles. I’ve seen these hiking/biking guides in all of those recently. Also, near some of the Info booths in the stations (glassed rooms near the turnstiles with MRT staff member inside - sometimes mostly staff, sometimes mostly member).

I found the guide yesterday. I was quite impressed. Most are very detailled and a vistor should have no problem findign their way around.

The Fairy Footprint is called Xianjiyan Hiking Trail page 23-24. Very worthwhile indeed.

The Zhinan Temple and Maokong Hiking Trails are also very good. But I don’t like the maps. In fact, I am sure the Zhinan Tea Road Hiking Trail section is wrong. The trail to Zhangshan Temple starts from the university ring road. That road is not connected to Zhinan Road Sec 3. They are close, but not connected.

Junjian Rock Hiking Trail p 13/14 - Went out on this one today on my own and it was really good. I Initially tried to find it from Qilian MRT - after driving round for twenty minutes I decided to go to Qiyan as the map is much clearer about when to start from. Unlike the previous trail a lot of this path does not have steps, there are some in a few places (a new path at Junjian rock itself) but it clearly defined. I was right in guessing that it is a long walk from the MRT to the trail head, I suggest getting a cab up, or scootering it. Do you reall want to waste an hour getting from the MRT to the trail head and back?
The hike is an interesting one with plenty to see. I was surprised just how quiet it was - hardly anyone one the trail this morning. Also as it is in the city I was pleasantly surprised about the ambient background noise - not too bad at all. At points there was blissful silence!

There are lots of off shoot trails, which may be worth investigating as the weather warms up, I reached a look out point at one stage that is not on the map - I was a little confused whether it was the rock or not, so I carried on and then found it. Interestingly the trail seems to be made of sandstone. Certainly in Guan in shan it is not sandstone, I’m not sure about Yang Ming though. It would be intersting to find out why there is a difference in the types of rock since the three sites are so close together. Sorry, I digress.

I didn’t complete the entire circular trail - I backtracked after the rock as I wanted to pick up the scooter. All in all, it was a very pleasant hike. I would suggest this one is suitable for all - there were a few four year olds managing quite nicely, and it has some good views along the way.

I think I rated the previous hike 4/10. This has to be a surpising 7/10 simply because it is mostly unpaved uninhabited and has good views.

(note: If you want to walk from Qiyan MRT come out of the exit and turn right - keep going until you hit Wellcome on you left then head up Lane 89… The trail is a long way up on your left.)

Go hug a tree, it’ll make you smile.

L

:smiley:

Good review. Can the trail be done when it is dark? IE, is it lit at night like the Fairy Footprint or Zhinan Temple trails?

Feeling better? Hope so. No, this trail would be impossible in the dark. Lots of tree roots and places to get lost. You would get some ambient light from the city but not enough to navigate by. L.

No, feeling a bit sore and dizzy today actually. But I won’t be forever. :wink:

I live in Jubei/Hsinchu area and bike all over the place here in the mountians as well as along the sea. Does anyone know if it is possible to bring my bike on any of the trains into Taipei to take advantage of the bike routes and such in the city?

Yes and no. You can’t take the bike on the train with you. But you can check the bicycle as luggage for a rather reasonable fee and have it shipped on a freight train to other major stations in Taipei. You would need to put the bike on at Hsinchu Station and pick it up at Wanhua Station in Taipei. For longer trips, you need to do this a day or two in advance, but from Hsinchu, you can usually pick up the bike in Taipei on the same day you ship it. Call the shipping department at Hsinchu Station to check this if it is important. This is a great, inexpensive way of shipping your bike around Taiwan. I’ve done it many times without mishap, but I do need to warn you that security is not exactly watertight. Last time I shipped my bike to Miaoli I went to pick it up at 7:00 am at Miaoli station. There was no clerk in the office, so I just went through the open door onto the platform, wheeled our bikes out, and left the receipt on the table.

Alternatively, you can also ship your bike with one of the trucking companies that can be found near train stations. These specialize in shipping scooters to smaller places in Taiwan (I shipped to Taimali once!), and will usually take bikes. You also may be able to put your bike on the bus–Zunlong and Aloha will often let you do this but it depends on the driver, and you may need to put your bike in a bag.

Frankly though I don’t see why you would go to the hassle to get your bike to Taipei to ride on our boring bike paths when you’ve got so much great riding down your way. Or rather than going to Taipei, why not head down south to Chiayi and loop north into Nantou or south in Sanmin, Kaohsiung.

Good advise. And if you just want to come up to Taipei and ride the river routes, just rent a bike here.

Thanks Feiren and Mucha Man, Yea I know maybe easier to just rent a bike but I love my bike. I think my ass and seat go together. Although this is a new bike, my previous bike went across the States, over the Alps and around Ireland with me on it.

So I just wanted to start in Taipei to go further around there.

Yes the southern parts of Taiwan I will find a way for sure. Next year I will plan ahead and take vacation to do the around Taiwan race. (I hope)