This trail in Hsinchu County takes in not just one, but two of Taiwan's Minor 100 Peaks. It is a fun, not too difficult half-day walk with a few views and temples along the way.
Lion's Head Mountain in Miaoli is just one of many peaks scattered across Taiwan to be named due to its resemblance to the King of the Jungle. What sets this particular lion apart from the others is its enduring role as a site of spiritual significance. Dotting the mountain's slopes visitors will find a proliferation of temples, some of which have been open to worshippers for over a hundred years.
Although most of Taiwan’s giant trees are found in remote forests with permit-restricted access, there are some just a short drive out of Taipei which can be seen by anyone willing to make the climb. (And who wouldn’t be willing to put in a bit of effort to visit these venerable old spirits.)
When we signed in at the trailhead, the person manning the register said "the mountain is yours today, there's no one else." He wasn't wrong. Mai Ba Lai is never going to lure the crowds in search of Instagrammable views, but it offers another kind of draw: quietness and seemingly endless forest.
This unexpectedly enjoyable loop just south of Shimen reservoir combines a fun upwards scramble with attractive views from the peak and a much gentler route down.
This very wild feeling trail leads you up a steep forested ridge through huge bamboo groves, into the domain of wild boars and barking deer, past hunting shelters and the traces of Taiwan's period of Japanese occupation.
An easy and leisurely afternoon walk taking in military relics. Bring your significant other and aim to finish the walk around sundown so that you can watch the sunset together as you gaze out over the Taiwan Strait.
A many-layered mountain forest trail leads up to an old fortress and a slice of Taiwan's history.
Road walking with a view in Hsinchu County.
This climb is a great way to stretch your legs after getting carsick on all those windy mountain roads.