Loudong Loop Bike Trail
Loudong, Yilan County
Length: 35km loop
This ride is very peaceful and relaxing and great way to spend the day. The route will take you to the areas main attractions. Unless you’re near the arts centre or going around the lake there are few other cyclists on it, even on weekends.
Attractions: National Centre for Traditional Arts, Loudong Sports Park, Plum Blossom Lake
Access: take the bus from the Taipei City Hall Bus Station to Loudong. The bus goes through a series of long tunnels directly to the coast and is much faster than the train. It takes about an hour to reach Loudong.
The bus will take you to the Loudong bus station. From here you have two options to get the bike trails.
- Take the shuttle bus from the bus station going to the National Center for Traditional Arts (the bus has English signage) and get off at the Dongshan River Water Park. You can rent a bike from shops next to the bus stop.
- Take the train one stop to Dongshan Station (towards Haulien). You can rent a bike from a shop outside the station.
Bike rental shops want the bikes to be returned by 5pm or 5:30. There is no lighting on the bike trails and they are pitch black after dark. Also, at around dusk the air becomes filled with gnats. You need to be off the bike trails by dusk if you want to avoid riding through all the bugs.
I start the loop from Dongshan Station and proceed in a clockwise direction.
If you start from the water park, cross the red bridge and turn right to follow the bike trail to Dongshan where my guide starts.
Check out the large map on the wall outside Dongshan Station. You can see your loop clearly depicted here.
From the map ride under the tracks and you’ll quickly come to a trail junction. Proceed straight from here and path will turn to left and you’ll be riding along the Dongshan River. After you’ve crossed under the highway ride along the riverside bike path until after the river makes a sharp ninety-degree turn to the left.
After the bend in the river, turn right on the road, cross the river and keep going straight to the end of the road. There is a short bike trail here and another river. Ride up to the road ahead, cross the road, turn left and cross the river, then turn right onto the bike trail next to the river.
This bike trail will soon turn and become part of a small country road. From here you need to ride on the country roads to reach Plum Blossom Lake. The route is well marked by bicycle symbols painted on the road. The route will lead you past a duck farm and through a small village with some run-down houses.
When you reach the lake there is a bike trail that goes around it. There are also a few cafes here but only one has an English menu. The trail around the lake is always very crowded. After the quiet of the countryside trails, arriving at the lake is like arriving at Disneyland. You’ll see people riding all sorts of strange tandem bikes. From the lake it is a short distance to reach the Loudong River. Ride up the road where all the bike rental shops are and take the first left then follow the signs to the river.
Now it is an easy ride along the river to the Loudong Sports Park. You’ll see a baseball field and running track next to the trail. Take the ramp up to the bridge and ride along the road to reach the park entrance. The park is really nice and quite large. It has a lake with a path going around it and a rest area with some snack shops (but no English menus).
After you’ve checked out the park, go back to the river and keep riding on the trail. It will lead you all the way around to the other side of Loudong and back to the Dongshan River.
When you’ve reached the Dongshan River, cross the first bridge on your left. The bike trail continues along the river towards the arts centre.
Once you get to the arts centre you can spend the rest of the afternoon hanging out here before you have to return your bike. Give yourself about half an hour to 45 minutes to ride back to Dongshan station.The centre has a nice park with a lake, a couple of relocated old houses, a fake old street with overpriced shops, and a museum. There is also a Starbucks and a good food court.
Once you’ve finished here it is a nice ride along the river back to Dongshan. Just follow the trail upriver.
Map of the Ride