Hiking in Taipei: Neihu District, Bailusishan and Kangleshan Trails (Dahu Park)
Northeast Taipei’s Neihu District, sandwiched between the Keelung river and the Neihu ridge (the first of a series of ridges leading up to Yangmingshan National Park) on the edge of the city, is an absolutely cracking area for parks and hiking. You can access many of the trails with just a short walk from the MRT, and quickly find yourself hiking up steep mountainsides surrounded by the jungle; yet civilisation is never far away, with awesome city views from the hills and food & drink galore waiting for you at the end of your hike.
Dahu Park is the starting point for a number of trails (as well as being a lovely little park to hang out in), with four signposted right outside Dahu Park Station:
When I lived in the area I made a thorough exploration of the four trails on this sign. The two on the right, the Liyushan and Zhongyongshan trails, start 10 minutes away at Dagou Stream Park and form part of the longer Neihu ridge hike to Bishan Temple and Jinmian Rocks I’ve covered here, my favourite hike within Taipei itself.
The other two are shorter trails found at the southern end of Dahu Park’s lake, each rising up to around 100m with good viewpoints at the tops.
Bailusishan (White Egret Mountain)
Bailusishan (白鷺鷥山, White Egret Mountain) is the prominent hill you see on the far side of the lake when you come out of the station (leave the station via exit 2 to be on the right side); the signposts from the station send you along the main road, but it’s nicer to walk through the park, over the bridge, and round the lake on the footpath. White egrets are a common sight in Dahu Park, hence the name!
At the southern end of the lake, you’ll find this little temple:
The trail up the hill starts from the steps behind the car on the right. It’s a nice easy paved trail like this:
It’s only a 30-minute walk up to the top, and you’re rewarded with views on the other side of the hill of the whole of central Taipei, with Taipei 101 to the left and Songshan Airport to the right.
From the top, you can either descend the way you came or continue on down the other side, which brings you out near Huzhou (葫洲) Station (one stop along from Dahu Park Station); when you reach the main road at the bottom of the trail, you need to turn left then walk straight for five minutes to a large circular intersection – Huzhou Station is on the other side.
This trail goes up on the other side of the lake from Bailusishan, and sees far fewer people; the trail’s actually fairly rough underfoot and overgrown in places, and the surrounding jungle seems thicker. Of course, this also means more insects and I got absolutely massacred up there by mosquitoes – avoid being on Kangleshan at sunset in summer! The trail isn’t all that interesting to be honest, but it doesn’t take long (half an hour or so to the top) and the viewpoint at the top gives you a classic shot of Taipei 101 and Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain).
From the top you can continue on down the other side to Kanghu Road, but if you’re using the MRT it’s best to go back down the same way to the park.
The start of the trail is actually a little tricky to find, especially as the signpost at the station seems to be pointing the wrong way! As with Bailusishan, start by going through the park, over the moon bridge, and round the lake to the little temple; from there, cross over the main road and turn right. There’s actually a signpost at the crossing, though not very obviously placed:
Walk a hundred metres or so, and opposite this small temple:
…you’ll see these ramshackle huts on your left (with another not-so-obvious sign):
The trail actually starts through this gap between the huts:
Feels a bit weird, but it’s the path up to a bunch of allotments where people are growing vegetables; just keep going up past those and follow the trail to the top.
As the trailheads are close to one another, you can easily do both these hills in one hike – start with Kangleshan, descend back to the park, then go up Bailusishan and down the other side to Huzhou Station. That’s a nice couple of hours of walking, satisfying yet nothing too strenuous.
Have you been hiking in Neihu? Any questions or comments? Give me a shout below and I’ll get back to you.
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