Fuzhoushan makes for a good alternative to Elephant Mountain if you want to get some Taipei city views without the crowds, or if you’ve done Elephant before and fancy a change but something similar. It’s a small (under 100m) hill to the southwest of Taipei 101, part of a ridge between the central city and the southern suburbs. It’s easily accessed from Linguang Station (brown line) and you can extend the hike by continuing up to the higher peak of Zhongpushan (137m) and descending down the other side of the ridge to finish at Xinhai Station (also brown line, one stop south of Linguang Station).
When you come out of Linguang Station follow the signs for Wenshan and Fuyang Eco Park:
If you even spot this one overhead, ignore the turn for the eco park and keep going straight for Fuzhoushan Park (obviously). There is a trail up from the eco park too actually, but I haven’t checked it out yet.
Keep going straight along Wolong Street past a couple of big government office buildings and around a bend where the park comes into view:
You may spot Mr TIRE MAN:
…or a leaf camo lizard:
There are two park entrances on the left, the second one is more direct:
The second entrance:
It’s a nice easy trail of wooden walkways and steps, all very well-maintained:
This trail takes up to pavilion 3 at the top of Fuzhoushan, passing pavilions 1 and 2 on the way. The sign here points the way to 一號涼亭, pavilion 1:
They’re more like decks than pavilions, but they have nice views anyway:
Here’s the signpost and map at pavilion 2, pointing the way to pavilion 3 at the top:
The final steps leading up to pavilion 3:
Unless you’re doing this in winter you’ll be quite sweaty by now, but here’s your reward:
If you’re satisfied with that, you can head back down the way came or follow the signs for the trail down to Fuyang Eco Park near the station. But if you want to go higher still, continue on along the ridge to Zhongpushan. Go back down that final short flight of steps and continue on along the dirt trail:
At the top of this access road keep following the sign along the hiking trail:
And at this little rest area keep going straight:
Keep following the signs for Xinyi (at this point you’re actually heading away from Xinyi, but these signs are for the Taipei Grand Trail which loops around from here to Elephant Mountain. I haven’t walked through between Elephant and Fuzhoushan yet, but that should be a good hike too)
There’s some pretty cool jungle along this stretch of the trail:
When you get to the top of another steep access road, turn left up the steps:
…at the top of which (a few minutes later) you’ll find this sign:
Again, follow the sign towards Xinyi. I have checked out the trails in the other direction, trying to find a way to walk west along the ridge and down to Gongguan on the Green Line. But the higher trail just goes up to a peak (no views due to forest cover) then loops back down to the road you were just at, while the lower trail just gets steadily more and more overgrown until it’s gone and you’re bushwhacking through thick jungle. Hiking in Taipei’s hills seems easy when you’re on maintained trails, but if you go off-road through the bush you realise it’s actually really hard going in its natural state. So while I think you could keep going that way to push through to the Green Line, it wouldn’t be easy and I turned back. Also, there’s a huge cemetery covering one side of the ridge so if you kept going that way you’d probably just end up stumbling out into that – and I think the cemetery is the reason there’s no hiking trail going along the ridge there. Also the peak at the far end of the ridge is covered with some sort of comms installation so it’s probably off-limits in any case.
Anyway, following the sign for Xinyi brings you up to a small shelter at the top of Zhongpushan, a popular sunset spot with the local photographers:
Once you’re done with the view, continue on through the portal at the other side of the shelter:
From here you can follow the trail down to Xinhai Station. As before, keep following the Taipei Trail signs for Xinyi:
…until you reach this junction:
Going round and down to the left you can take the trail down to Fuyang Eco Park near where you started, while the path ahead to the left is the Taipei Trail continuing on to Xinyi (I did follow that for a bit once too, then ended up walking down the roads through the southern suburbs to end at Muzha Station). For the nearest MRT access at Xinhai Station, the branch you want is the one going down to the right, where the gentleman’s walking in the pic. It curves round and then down on a paved trail to a residential district near the station:
At this junction:
Turn right this way:
…and follow the steps down to suburbia:
When you emerge on the side street, turn right then left on the main road and pass under the elevated MRT line:
Then just keep following the main road for a few hundred metres to reach Xinhai Station.
Any questions about Fuzhoushan and Zhongpushan? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
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