Without a doubt, one of the best things about living in Taipei is that you can find a near endless supply of hiking trails within minutes of the city – many of which are reachable by public transport. This is just another one of those trails.
At about 18km‘s long, this route starts at Huilong MRT Station – ending a short walk from Yingge Train Station at the other end. It’s by no means a difficult hike, but it is defintiely an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. Whilst this blog is mainly for the photos I took along the way, I will include a bit of basic info on the route, but it’s not my forte / interest. For more comprehensive information a quick google search should help. Cool. Let’s go.
It’s about a 15 minute walk from Huilong MRT to the start of the trail. You’ll need to heard towards Wuqi Park. Head through the archway and up the million-and-one concrete steps. You’ll find yourself in a park filled with weapons. It’s quite interesting to wander round for a few minutes, looking at the different land, sea and air weaponry. Theres another set of steps you’re going to want to take to continue climbing and get onto the trail up Datong. I think the trail is reasonably easy to navigate from here.
There are some decent views over the city on the way up and a couple of viewing platforms / pavilions that you can stop off at. When it emerges from the trees, you’ll end up on a nice grass covered peak.
Once you cross the peak, you’ll head down through the grass before reaching a road. You’ll pass another viewing platform at the end of a broadwalk, before continuing down the road to a temple and some food stalls (and you’ll quickly be reminded that you’re in Taiwan by the random ass karaoke).
As with a lot of hiking routes in Taiwan, you’ll often have the choice between taking the direct, extremely-sanitised route, or something with a few ropes thrown in. Always opt for the latter.
Once you’ve passed Qinalong peak, follow the signs for Mt. Dadong and you’ll be on a dirt trail for the next 2.5km or so. This it taking you up to the highest point of the day.
And you’re at the peak…
Interestingly, Dadong Mountain is listed as one of the top 100 minor peaks in Taiwan. Although it’s only a mere 405 metres above sea level, it’s still got some decent views either side of the seating area – of both Taoyuan City and New Taipei City. It’d definitely be nice to repeat this walk in the autumn when the silver grass is at its peak.
Now you’ve made it to the top, you’ll need to make it back down – via a combination of roads, steps and more dirt tracks. I think it’s pretty straightfoward, but I’d definitely recommend reading another more informative blog for the route details.
That’s your lot.
As I mentioned at the outset, this isn’t a particularly challenging hike – but it’s definitely worthwhile. You’ve got decent views throughout, a couple of ‘alternative’ options which give you a bit of fun scrambling, it’s well signposted, accessible by public transport and there isn’t too much road-walking.
What more could you want?