Hiking trails is one of the top activities people enjoy doing in Taiwan. There are many different types of hikes available, ranging from short walks through forests or along rivers to longer treks across mountains. Some popular destinations include the following:
The 11 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan
1. The Beidawushan Trail, Pingtung
The Beidawushan is one of the most famous hiking trails at Pingtung, Taiwan. With its stunning natural beauty, this relatively comfortable night hike on one of the highest mountains in Taiwan offers sweeping vistas across the South China Sea. Hikers travel along a 10km (7mi) trail that hugs the ridgeline before descending steeply down a narrow path that leads to the base of the mountain.
Once there, visitors can explore two caves, descend to sea level, and head up again to see more breathtaking scenes. The trek concludes when visitors reach the top of the mountain, at which point they have the opportunity to admire some of the world’s largest trees and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
2. Hualien County’s Old Street, Taitung City
This famous street is home to over 100 historic buildings dating back to the early 1900s. Most of them were built in the Japanese era during the 1920s. They represent various architectural styles, including Western European, Oriental, and Chinese.
Visitors should not miss visiting these old wooden houses with their intricate details such as windows, doors, eaves, roof tiles, and other decorative elements. Each house has been lovingly preserved by local residents who want to show off their culture and history.
3. The Yushan Peaks Trail, Yushan National Park
Many people think hiking is only for those who live at sea level. However, there are many different ways to enjoy the natural beauty of the world above. Hiking gives you the unique opportunity to explore these areas. There are countless trails that vary in difficulty and length, so no matter what kind of hiker you are, there’s sure to be a trail tailored to you!
Start small by walking around the block and have fun experimenting with different routes. As you become more familiar with nature and its terrain, try longer hikes like this one. And don’t forget to pack the right hiking gear before heading out. Check out our list of packing tips here.
4. Eryan Ping Trail, Alishan Scenic Mountain Area
Sunrise at Alishan has become one of Taiwan’s one of the most hiking trails in Taiwan. Those in the know head up here early in the morning when the skies glow bright orange and red like a sunset. When the light hits the mountain peaks, the scene becomes surreal. The colors fade and eventually disappear as the sun sets over the horizon.
For those who prefer their landscapes with less drama, there are plenty of hiking options available around Alishan. This trail takes visitors past lush green valleys, through fields filled with wildflowers, alongside streams flowing into the ocean, and underneath towering cliffs. It’s a great way to get close to nature without having to scale any mountains.
5. Wuliaojian, Sanxia
One of Taipei’s hidden gems, Wuliaojian is located in the Sanxia District, about 20 minutes from downtown Taipei by bus. While this area is often overlooked, it actually boasts numerous scenic spots perfect for weekend picnics or leisurely strolls. A must-see spot is Huanshi Temple. Built in 1782, it features five halls with paintings depicting stories from the classic novel Journey to the West.
On weekends, make sure to visit the Huayin Night Market, where guests can sample Taiwanese snacks and drinks, listen to folk music, and even watch traditional opera performances. For those looking for something more adventurous, hike across some rock formations along the riverbed on the way down to the village.
6. Pingxi Crags, Pingxi
Taiwan is full of wonderful hiking trails; Pingxi Crags is one of them. This is an ideal place to escape urban life for a few days. Located just 10 kilometers outside of Taipei City, Pingxi Crags offers hikers several different trails to choose from. To get started, take the number 4 bus from Taipei Main Station (Taipeitang) to Pingxi and follow the signs. Then, jump onto the number 7 bus bound for Bao’erling Forest Farm.
After getting off the bus at the farm, walk for 15 minutes to the main entrance of the crag along the path marked with blue lines. There are also two entrances near the city of Taidong. If you’re feeling energetic, consider going all the way to the end of the trail, which ends at the top of the mountain.
7. Linmei Shipan Trail, Yilan
The Linmei Shipan National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including Siberian tigers, black bears, and leopards. Because of their rarity, the government has designated the shipan habitat a protected area. Of course, being in such a remote location makes access difficult, but if you want to see these magnificent creatures, you’ll need to put in the effort. You can book your tour with the park office before arriving.
Once inside, you’ll be able to hike within the park via a well-travelled route that leads hikers through dense foliage. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see many species of birds, insects, and reptiles. In the winter months, look out for deer roaming freely in search of food.
8. Hualien River Valley, Hualien
In the south of Taiwan, Hualien County boasts a beautiful landscape full of waterfalls, rivers, caves, and forests. One of its best-known spots is the Hualien River Valley. In addition to offering stunning views, this popular destination attracts tourists because of its rich history. During World War II, Japan used the valley as a training ground for soldiers preparing for war against China.
Nowadays, visitors may enjoy the cool water flowing past them while strolling along the riverbank. The most famous waterfall here is the Big Waterfall. From November to March, the Hualien Wild Goose Festival takes place annually at the dam of the Hualien River. This event attracts thousands of wild geese every year.
9. Dakeng Trail No. 4, Taichung
From the perspective of someone who has completed all ten hikes, I can say that this one definitely isn’t my favorite. For me, it was incredibly challenging and tiring, and I didn’t enjoy the hike at all! Hiking up to some of these peaks took almost 5 hours (it seemed like longer) and there were times when I just wanted to give up. However, once we reached the top, the view was incredible. We could see a whole valley below us that had so many different colors. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
Once you reach the summit, you can either go down the mountain side or stay up here. I recommend taking the path down the mountainside. It’s not that scary, but it does require climbing down steep rocks. There are also plenty of stairs that lead further down the cliffside, where you can relax by the lake. If you do decide to descend the mountain on foot, make sure to wear sturdy shoes. The path is narrow and slippery. Don’t forget to bring your own water if you’re planning on doing any hiking!
10. Qi Xing Shan, Yangmingshan National Park.
From Taipei City, it’s just a short drive to Yangming Mountain. This is one of Taiwan’s most popular hiking trails, so don’t expect to be alone when you start your journey up the mountain! There are plenty of trails that lead off the main path, which makes this hike incredibly diverse. For instance, there are several different viewpoints along the route that offer fantastic views of the city below.
But be sure that you bring water and wear comfortable shoes because the trail can be hot and steep at times. Don’t worry though, after about an hour of walking, you will reach Qi Xing Shan Peak. Here, you can take a break from the heat and enjoy the refreshing climate. Afterward, walk back towards Taipei City and enjoy the rest of your day.
11. Nanxi Train Line, Jiaoxi Township
This 3.5-hour train ride covers over 300 miles between Wulai and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. When traveling to Hualien County, you’ll find yourself passing through Nantou and then continuing on toward Jiaxishan Station. This small town in Jiaxishan Township offers amazing hiking opportunities. Two of our recommended hikes begin in this area: Tienmu Peak and Lanyang Hill. Both of these hikes have similar routes; they both go along the Jiale Stream.
On the way up, you will pass a number of waterfalls that look spectacular. They may be covered with snow during the wintertime. Make sure to stop by the viewpoint near the end of each trail and try to spot some wildlife that lives in the area, such as deer or monkeys. You might even come across locals fishing in the stream!
Taiwan is home to more than 2,000 kilometers of well-kept trails. Whether you prefer exploring nature or enjoying peaceful scenery, Taiwan has something for everyone. The island features everything from lush green forests to rugged cliffs. With its varied terrain, there truly is no shortage of things to explore.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and experience Taiwan’s unique beauty for yourself!
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Arthur Lewis is a hardcore hiker, traveler, and adventure seeker. He is a blogger and writer for “Hiking Mystery,” and he lives in New York City with his pet dog, Chipi.
He is very fond of the outdoors and has visited many countries, including Iceland, Portugal, Brazil, and Costa Rica. He also loves to explore nature by means of hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He is an expert on travel, and he helps other people find the best way to travel by providing information about their options.