A great hike that can be done without leaving Taipei. This hike goes over the hills north of Neihu taking in a number of sights along the way.
Access: there are a couple of different starting points
1. take the Xiao (small) 18 bus from Shilin MRT station and get off at the 碧溪橋 bus stop. Starting from here will take over the top of Daluntou to the suspension bridge.
2. take the MRT to Dahu Park Station. From here hike Dagou River to the suspension bridge.
Length: 7km, about four hours
Difficulty Level: 2/5
Trail Conditions: mostly stone trails with steps, boardwalk trail up Daluntou, dirt and rocky trails near Jinmian
From the bus stop cross the bridge and follow the road up the hill. The road winds its way up but there are steps going up between the switchbacks. The road leads up to some sort of botanical gardens, though they seem to be permanently closed. At the gardens take the right fork and keep walking along the road. After a few hundred meters you’ll come a house (with some signs in Chinese only explaining about the house) and the trailhead signposted for Mt. Daluntou. At the back of the house the trail splits in two. Take the left fork signposted for Mt Daluntou.
There is a boardwalk-like trail that leads up to the top of Mt Daluntou. It makes for an easy climb up (but there are a lot of steps) and squirrels seem to like running along the rails. The boardwalk ends at a stone trail at the top. Turning right here leads you to the peak of Daluntou, but before you go there turn left for a little side trip. If you follow the stone trail for about 10 minutes (don’t take the dirt trail branching off) you’ll come to a small lake (Pitou Lake). The lake is peaceful and makes for a nice place to have rest.
Head back the way you came and after returning to the boardwalk it is only a few minutes to the peak. There are good views here towards Yanmingshan. From the peak the trail descends rather steeply via stone steps and ends at a road and Dalun Lake (which is just a small pond on the side of the road).
Turn left at the road/pond and walk along the road about 500m, go right at a fork in the road, then turn right just after the fork where there a few houses and another trail signposted for Baishihhu Suspension Bridge. The trail is just a shortcut that rejoins the road at the bottom of a switchback. At the bottom turn right and walk along the road again for a short distance. As you get close the bridge the area will begin to get very crowded. A trail branches off from the road again and leads past some coffee shops before reaching the bridge. Just follow the crowds. Near the bridge is the wonderful Farmhouse Café, a great place to rest over lattes and lunch.
The Baishihhu Suspension Bridge really proves the “if you build it, they will come” theory. The bridge isn’t very long, is not high at all, and crosses over nothing; yet huge crowds of people will drive up here from the city to walk across it, pose for pictures, and sit in the cafes on the other side. Cross the bridge, turn left, and follow the road up to the temple at the top of the hill. The temple has great views over the Neihu area.
From the temple you can either hike the Dagou River to Dahu Park MRT station, or hike through the hills to Jinmian.
To Dahu Park
From the small parking lot at the temple, there is an unmarked trail going down. This trail is really just a long set of stairs that lead to a road at the bottom. At the road turn left and follow the signs leading to Yuanjue temple on the other side. From the temple is a stone trail that leads down to the Dagou River. At the bottom of the hill is a small waterfall. The Dagou River Trail is a beautiful and easy trail to walk. It is very popular and there will likely be lots of people around the waterfall and along the trail.
It is possible to climb up the base of the falls. About halfway up the stone steps from the bottom look for rocks that form a sort of arch. Go under the rocks and you’ll emerge at the base of the falls. There are more rocks in the pool at the base that you can sit on and relax.
From the falls follow the trail along the river back to the city. At the end of the trail is a small park. From here it is short distance along the road to the Dahu Park MRT station.
Starting from Dahu Park
If you start from Dahu Park MRT station, look on the station map for the Dagou River. From the end of the road follow the trail along the stream to Yuanjue Waterfall. From the waterfall, climb the stairs up to Yunajue Temple then walk along the roads to the suspension bridge area. From here you can either hike over Daluntou or to Jinmian.
From Baishan Temple to Jinmian
The trail to Jinmian starts at the statue of a guy on a horse at the back of the temple. The trail is signposted for Jinlong Rural Road. At first the trail passes some old temple buildings, electrical towers, and a cemetery. After the cemetery the trail enters the forest and becomes more pleasant. This trail ends at Jinlong road. From here walk along the road for about 500 meters and the trail starts again on the left. The trail here is signposted to the National Palace Museum and Jinmian. The trail passes a couple of small shrines then crosses another road. After crossing the road the trail comes to a rest away and a trail junction leading to the National Palace Museum. From here the trail to Jinmian switches from being a stone trail to a dirt trail. Keep following the signs leading the way to Jinmian.
Jinmian’s rocky peak has great views and is a fun place to hang out later in the day. You can climb over the rocks and get to the edge of the cliffs. After you’ve enjoyed the peak had down to Neihu. At first the trail down is just climbing over rocks. Halfway down there is a viewpoint and the trail changes to stone steps.
Map of the Hike