distance: 3.1km – the trail itself is a little under 2km, the rest is the trail to the trail.
time: a very comfortable 45 minutes.
difficulty: 2/10 – you couldn’t do it with a pushchair because of the steps but I saw several families doing it with babies and toddlers so it’s a very easy one.
water: actually we didn’t drink any but we still took a bottle – if we’d gone in the summer I’m sure we would have finished it.
shade: dappled – it’s a woodland walk so the path dips in and out of the shade.
mobile network: mostly ok I think, I didn’t really check.
enjoyment: 8/10 – a gentle way to get back into it after a break due to a couple of colds, bad weather and a hiking trip to Hong Kong where we walked 50km in four hikes.
There’s a map about 600m into the walk at the start of the trail proper, it’s not essential for directions but it gives you some information about the area and the things you pass on the walk.
On the main road there was a collection of fruit vendors to either side of paved path leading downwards. There is a sign with the name of the trail but it was somewhat obscured by the fruit sellers.
The path runs along the edge of a golf course so there’s a lot of netting over this section. Somewhat alarmingly, a lot of it is either holey or wholly gone.
Just beyond the golf course the path nears a lake, the road-like path continues in the right direction but we took a quick detour down to a decked area with benches to sit and enjoy the lake.
The path from the decked area goes up some steps and rejoins the main route.
The path opens up into a grassy clearing with some toilets and the start of the trail proper.
We headed straight towards the map, (the path up to the left is where we came out later).
It is impossible to get lost on this little loop, the route is well maintained and there are no side paths.
At first we walked around the side of a valley where we could see the river carving it’s way through the landscape, but soon we found ourselves heading down towards the water.
Of course signs prohibited playing in the stream, (swimming would have been impossible, there was about 10-15 inches of water in all the places where you could easily get down to it).
There were a couple of interesting bridges.
This one was a particularly beguiling specimen, a metal and wood arch with steps leading up the side of the valley.
At the top of the flight of stairs we snuck around a small bend in the river to find this rather magnificent little waterfall. The proper path goes up and looks down over it, but it was nice to see it from the bottom first.
We found quite a few of these delicate, butterfly-like flowers, they were incredibly dainty.
We found ourselves back at the start much quicker than the two hours indicated by the map, (I can only assume that must be walking with a toddler time), and retraced our steps back to the car.
how to get there
google maps address: 林美石磐步道 – 262, Yilan County, Jiaoxi Township, Linwei Road, 180號 There’s roadside parking near the entrance for cars and scooters.
GPS location: N24 49.356 E121 44.149
public transport: if you can get into the area by train it’s petty easy, there’s a bus from Jiaoxi station, the 111 going towards Tamkang University. The bus stop for the trail is called the same name – Lin Mei Shi Pan Trail/林美石磐步道.
My new words learnt on this hike were:
- 公主病 / gōngzhǔ bìng / princess sickness – apparently the way to describe a young woman with rather high expectations of how they ought to be treated. As in 小胖真的有公主病！他要我餵他吃。 – Xiaopang really has princess sickness! She wants me to feed her.
- 想起來 / xiǎng qǐlái / come to mind or just remembered or just thought of – it seems to be one of those Chinese phrases which can stand in for several english ones depending on the usage
- 刺青 / cìqīng / tattoo (actually not my first time to learn this word but I’d forgotten)
- 害 / hài / harm, do harm to, or cause trouble for – this one doesn’t fit inside grammar patterns that I can easily follow in that it seems to have a double verb pattern. 你害我掉下去 – nǐ hài wǒ diào xiàqù – literally it translates as you harm me to fall down, but I think a more natural english translation would be you make me fall down, where ‘make’ is taken to imply some negative intention/outcome.