Despite its small size, hiking in Taiwan is a popular activity and ideal destination for exciting outdoor adventures. If you like climbing, you’ll never run out of options in this beautiful country. From Jade Mountain, the country’s highest peak, to a firefly-lit pond, this mystical land is bursting at its seams with awe-inspiring natural beauty.
Get a feel for some of the country’s best landscapes to exploring on your own two feet.
Hike Against a Backdrop of Black Tea Farms on the Mt. Maolan Trail
With a total length of just under three miles, Sun Moon Lake’s Mt. Maolan Trail is a great option for those with a limited amount of time. As you stroll along this scenic path, you’ll be able to enjoy distant views of sprawling black tea farms in the distance. Unforgettable views of the famous lake are also easy to come by during this invigorating hike.
Stroll the Tiao-Tan Trail During the Hakka Tung Blossom Festival
Upwards of 10 million people participate in Taiwan’s Hakka Tung Blossom Festival each year. The festival takes place during late April and early May and if you happen to be in the country during that time, a walk down the Tiao-Tan Trail lets you immerse yourself in the beauty of the flowering land - and escape from the crowds for a spell.
Climb Sixty Stone Mountain (Liushidan Mountain)
When you climb Sixty Stone Mountain, which is situated near the village of Fuli, you won’t just enjoy exceptional views; you’ll also get to check out the country’s first organic village. This region is famous for its millet (crop grains); take the time to view the area’s gorgeous tea trees, too.
Explore Tea Plantations on Alishan Shizhao
Without a doubt, Alishan Shizhao is one of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring landscapes in Taiwan. You’re in for a real adventure when you set out for its loftiest elevations, where tea plantations proliferate high against the cloud cover. Indeed, this is where some of the world’s best oolong tea is produced, so be sure to buy some directly from the source.
Walk Among Twinkling Fireflies at Carp Pond
Just outside of Hualien, you can take a night stroll to remember. Carp Pond, otherwise known as Carp Lake, boasts a topnotch walking path that allows you to enjoy yourself after dark. Aim for a clear night with a full moon for the most dramatic effect.
Experience the “Tea Kingdom” of Taiwan
The mile-and-a-half hike between Tianjhong Forest Park and Songboling will give you the opportunity to check out the country’s highest concentration of tea farms. More notably, dozens of tea houses and tea shops are open for business at any given time. One thing’s for sure: You’ll never get thirsty here!
Surround Yourself in Blossoms at Fushoushan
A special farm was commissioned by the Taiwanese government at Fushoushan many years ago. Today, its high concentrations of fruit trees produce a dizzying array of blossoms each year. If you’re lucky enough to visit during that time, make sure to take a stroll through the beautiful flora and fauna.
Roam Down a 200-Year-Old Trail
Over on the Yilan coast, the Caoling Historic Trail beckons hikers to Taiwan on a regular basis. This ancient trail allows you to enjoy many different types of topography within a five-mile stretch. There are many highlights along the way, including sea breezes, ocean views and Qing period stone inscriptions.
Reach the Summit of Taiwan’s Highest Mountain
At nearly 13,000 feet, Yushan - which is also known as Jade Mountain - is Taiwan’s highest peak. Although the trek can be arduous at times, the incredible panoramic views from the top make it well worth it and a favorite spot for hiking in Taiwan.
Marvel at the Baiyang Waterfall on the Baiyang Trail
The Taroko Gorge is undoubtedly one of the greatest natural wonders of Taiwan. Plan for about an hour and a half to fully appreciate the Baiyang Trail. In addition to being able to see the famous Baiyang Waterfall, you’ll cross a breathtaking suspension bridge and catch glimpses of the Tacijili River.
Test Your Endurance on the Meiyuan/Jhucun Trail
Another popular trail within the Taroko Gorge is the Meiyuan/Jhucun Trail. In order to complete the round-trip journey, you will need about six hours. Every last second is worth it, though, as you trek along paths that have been carved out of cliff faces and cross dizzyingly high suspension bridges.
Don’t Leave without Seeing the Tunnel of Nine Turns
If you have limited time to go hiking in Taiwan, one not to miss area of the Taroko Gorge is the Tunnel of Nine Turns. Two sheer cliff walls face one another and come together at a distance of only about thirty feet. The rugged beauty of this area, combined with the invigorating breezes, makes it absolutely unforgettable.