Ilan/New Taipei City
This trail goes over the mountain between Dali on the east coast and Fulong. This is one of the most popular trails in the Taipei area and it can be rather crowded on weekends. There are no stores in Dali, so it is best to bring things with you from Taipei. There are vending machines at the visitor center at the start of the trail.
Length: 13km, about 4 hours
Access: take the local train to Dali station, about 90 minutes from Taipei
Difficulty Level: 1/5
Trail Conditions: stone trail, short section of dirt trail; the hike is well signposted in English
Exit Dali station and turn right.
Follow the path and signs to the visitors centre. Keep going straight to the temple, then take the steps going up beside the temple.
From here there is a pedestrian only service road that winds its way to the top of the ridge.
After a while you’ll encounter some stone steps that go to the top, or you can keep walking along the road. Part-way up the hill there is a rest area at what used to be a horse stable. There are some vending machines and public washrooms here.
About halfway up there is a rest pavilion with good views of the east coast.
A little further up the stone trail passes the ruins of a inn, but there is little to see here anymore as the remaining stones are now covered by vegetation.
The road/steps end at the top of the ridge.
Turing left here is the start of the Taoyuan Valley Trail (see my blog entry for more details on this, it is an excellent hike). Keep going straight to reach Fulong. There is also a very crowded rest pavilion at the top.
From the top the trail descends in a narrow valley through the grasses and quickly comes to the Tiger Tablet, one of the main reasons that so many people do this hike.
The trail continues down the valley from the tablet then enters the trees and follows a stream.
The trail then passes another rest pavilion.
After the pavilion the trail continues through the trees and crosses the stream.
After the crossing the trail goes along a ledge high above the stream and comes the Boldly Quells rock inscription.
From here the trail passes some abandoned farm terraces then descends on steep steps back to the stream.
The trail follows the stream for a short distance then ends at a road. Follow the road to a parking lot.
Just past the parking lot is a nice park alongside the stream, signposted for Yuan-Wuang-Keng Riverside Park. Follow the walkway through the park. There are public washrooms at the end of the park.
At the end of the park, you’ll see a road up ahead that crosses the river. Walk over the bridge, turn left into the driveway for the large white house. The trail to Fulong continues from beside the house.
This short dirt trail goes through the trees and bamboo and merges with a narrow road which leads to a house.
Follow this narrow road which ends at an old house and a yard full of cats.
Walk through the yard and you’ll come to road. From the cat house it is a road walk the rest of the way to Fulong.