This is a nice little ridge hike just a bit north of Xizhi 汐止. I had the afternoon off the other week but unfortunately no one else did. However rather sitting around on me own I decided I would just go out for a drive/hike anyway.
I had a look at “Taipei Day Trips 1” and chose Xinshan 新山.
Finding it was relatively easy. The main road through Xizhi is Datong Road 大同路. Just head east on that. Keep your eyes open and look for a road on the left that leads to a large bridge. Cross the bridge and keep on heading north. It’s signposted from there, if you can read Chinese that is!
There are two places to park. Both are obvious. The furthermost parking area is right next to the lake but I’d recommend starting at the first one.
The lake is actually very nice and I was surprised by its size. Yet more surprising were the four pairs of brides and grooms having their wedding photos taken there. There’s a cafe by the lake which isn’t really in keeping with the natural beauty of the place. It’s nice enough but i didn’t bother to stop as no doubt the prices are astronomical and the coffee shite.
The trail starts to the right of the lake and is well marked. I walked up for a bit and came a cross a couple of electricity pylons which afforded good but spoilt views of the surrounding countryside.
Passing the last pylon and heading up to the left gets you onto the ridge. It’s similar to most of the ridges around Taipei with parts on top of the ridge and parts that follow next to it.
Care is needed in a few places but mostly there is nothing technical about the walk. The views from the ridge are great and there are plenty of places to sit, dangle your legs over the side and just enjoy the scenery.
After following the ridge for about 30 minutes it descends back to the lake and in total it took me about an hour and a half. The trail is very easy to follow and judging by the number people there, very popular.
For more photos have a look here
Transport, as ever I drove but according to Taipei Day Trips 1 you can take the bus or train out to Xizhi and then catch another bus towards the trail. It won’t take you to the trailhead but the road leading up from the bus stop is pleasant enough.
Apart from the cafe there isn’t anywhere to get anything to eat or drink by the trail so it’s best to buy your supplies beforehand.