Attractions: Houdong Waterfall, Ilan Coastal Bike Trail
A ride from Jiaoxi city through the countryside to the coast, then a 15km long bike trail along the beach, with a side trip to a waterfall.
Length: about 40km
Access: take a bus from the Taipei City Hall Bus Terminal to Jiaoxi.
The city of Jiaoxi is well-known for its hot springs and waterfalls, but it is also a good place to do some cycling. Near the city there is a bike trail that runs along the coast for 15km, and there are also trails that follow rivers through the countryside.
Bike can be rented from the Tourist Information Centre in Jiaoxi. $NT150 for a day. The center is located in the park next to the bus terminal.
From the centre turn left and head down the hill to the end of the road. Turn left again and ride along the main road a short ways until you can turn right on road that goes under the tracks. Follow this road until you come to a river/canal. Ride along the river past the freeway until you come to another river that flows into it. Turn left here and follow this river until the trail ends where a highway crosses river. Cross the highway and keep going straight, then turn left under the freeway, then take the first right. Follow this road around of couple of curves and keep going straight and the road will end back at the river. Park your bikes here and the falls are about a ten-minute walk.
Houdong Waterfall is a fairly popular spot. People like to swim in the pool at the base of the falls, and there are stairs climbing up to the top where people sit on rocks in the stream.
After you’ve seen the falls ride back to where you turned off. Cross the river and ride along the south side. You will come to another river than joins this one. Cross the bridge to the left, then turn left again on other side. Now you can keep riding around to the coast.
The Ilan Coastal Bike Trail goes along the coast, mostly over the dunes and through trees, but the ocean is visible at times as well. Note that a section of this trail is only open on weekends. The ride along the coast is enjoyable and easy to do. The trail is wide, smooth, and like most of Ilan’s bike trails, mostly empty. I only saw a couple of other cyclist on a sunny, fall day. There were a few more people on the river trails, but still not that many. Once you get to the end there isn’t much to do though but turn around and head back.
To take a different way back to Jiaoxi. Return to the junction of the two rivers, then turn left and follow this river back to the city. Follow the road along the river until you come to a bridge. Cross over to the other side and there is a newly constructed bike trail along the south side of the river. There are no maps or signs on this trail, but the city will be visible to north after a while. If in doubt just follow the river back to Highway 9 just after you cross the tracks. Then you can take the road back into Jiaoxi.
Map of the Ride