The Ninety-Nine Peaks Forest Trail

The Ninety-Nine Peaks TrailFishman greets visitors at the parking lot

We went hiking on the first day of 2017 to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. The Ninety-Nine Peaks Forest Trail [九九峰森林步道] is a 1,930 meter long trail in Nantou County’s Caotun Township [草屯鎮]. We brought the kids here because we figured they were getting tired of the trail we frequent in Jhongsing Village. Furthermore, being a holiday weekend, most of the popular trails in Nantou County were probably going to be packed. We only encountered a couple dozen people on the trail. Amazingly, both kids made it through the whole trail without asking to be carried!

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Wolongpo and Tengshan Trail Tung Blossoms

Roofs
I had the great pleasure of heading up to Baguashan [八卦山] this morning to check out the Tung Blossoms on the Wolongpo [臥龍坡步道] and Tengshan Trails [藤山步道].  These trails are two of several scenic areas visitors can flock to for the 2009 Hakka Tung Blossom Festival [2009客家桐花祭].  There were several booths as well as a stage set up in front of Fengtian Temple [鳳天宮] for the event.  I arrived before any of the vendors, so there was nothing distracting me from starting my walk down the Wolongpo Trail [臥龍坡步道].
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Taoyuan Valley Hike: Trail Views and Dasi

Taoyuan Valley Hike Panorama 4

View the large

After I had gotten out of the forested area full of butterflies, I made my way to the higher elevations of the trail. I started on the Caoling Line of the Taoyuan Valley [桃源谷步道草嶺線]. This section is 4.5 kilometers [~2.8 miles] and gives some great views of Taiwan’s mountainous northeast coast.
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Taoyuan Valley Hike: Taiwan Water Buffaloes

Water Buffalo

Like Yangmingshan National Park’s Cingtiangang, the Taoyuan Valley [桃源谷] also provides an opportunity to see grazing water buffaloes.
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Taoyuan Valley Hike: Creatures of Flight

Butterfly

Athyma selenophora laela [單帶蛺蝶]

Yesterday’s hike started much the same way the Caoling Historic Trail hike ended. I left Taipei by train for Yilan County’s Dali [大里]. I started by making my way from the Dali Tian-Gong Temple [大里天公廟] to the area on the Caoling Trail near the Tiger inscription where visitors have the option of turning south along the Taoyuan Valley [桃源谷].
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Tuesday’s Hike – Part II [Fog and Birds]

Things are clear down here...

Once I arrived at the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal after a walk along a portion of the Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道], I immediately scoured the food vendors for a lunch more suitable than the apples and 7-11 sandwiches I inhaled on the previous trail. After fried fish balls and some soup, I stood back in line to get back on the park bus. Yangmingshan’s park buses are tiny, there are always a lot of people much more deserving of a seat than I am, so each time I usually unnaturally contort my neck because of the low ceiling. It also doesn’t help that many of the bus drivers drive like maniacs.
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Tuesday’s Hike – Part I [Falls and Cows]

Ready, set, go!

Early in the morning I checked the weather report: an 80% chance of light rain on Yangmingshan. I began plowing through online maps and information to find a suitable trail for the day. I ultimately settled on Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道] using Jyuansih Waterfall [絹絲瀑布] as a starting point. The trail once served as an important link between Shilin [士林] and Jinshan [金山].
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Caoling Trail – Taiwan’s Beautiful Northeast Coast

Fulong Train Station

On Tuesday, I took a train to Fulong Station [福隆車站] to enjoy a walk along the Caoling Trail [草嶺古道]. The Caoling Trail once served as an important link between Danshui and Yilan. The area I hiked is the only surviving section of this historic trail. I learned of this trail from a post by David Reid a while back. I had been determined to go ever since reading about it. Luckily, due to recent events, I don’t have to work on Tuesdays until I move next month, so I have a little extra free time on my hands.
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Dalunwei and Daluntou Hiking Trails

Daluntou and Dalunwei 7

Mt. Dalunwei [大崙尾山] and Mt. Daluntou [大崙頭山] are part of the Wuzhi Mountain Range [五指山系]. Mt. Daluntou is higher at 475 meters while Mt. Dalunwei stands at 451 meters. The area is laced with trails suitable for all ages. To get there, simply take Bus 255 from Shilin MRT Station and get off at Shuangxi Community Bus Stop 6 [雙溪社區六]. Walk a little up the street and you’ll find an area trail map with all the information you’ll need to help you choose the right paths.
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Qixing Mountain Trail

Qixing Mountain path

I was off to an early start today on account of a work crew doing repairs outside my apartment at 7:30 in the morning. Qixing Mountain [七星山] is Yangmingshan National Park’s [陽明山國家公園] highest peak at 1,120 meters.
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