A couple good runs in Taipei
I am sharing two of my favorite long runs in Taipei.
Tamsui river right bank bike trail – for a long flat run:
The bike path is 15 miles long, and longest run I did on it was an out-and-back 20 miler.
To get on the bike trail form Taipei city, I had to go thru one of the access gates in the levee wall. I took the one at the west end of Zhengzhou Road, which is about 500m west of the Beimen MRT (subway) station:
Cars can only come out of this gate, not getting in. If you are taking a taxi, Dadaocheng Pier Plaza (about ½ mile north) is a better starting point.
The bike trail is just beyond the gate:
From here I ran north along the river, and the view was not bad:
There are many vending machines along the trail, where you can buy water and sports drink:
Most of them taking coins, and a few of them also taking Easycard:
At mile 6, I reached the tip of the peninsula. There was a friendly old man selling homemade juice (very tasty):
Tamsui River and Keelung River meet here, and I enjoyed the expansive view:
The beautiful temple across the river attracted my attention, and I decided to make it my turn around point. So I continued east for two miles along Keelung River and then crossed the Shezi Bridge:
After the bridge, running on the other side of Keelung River for two miles, I reached the beautiful Guandu temple exactly 10 miles from where I started:
The trail continues for another 5 miles to the sea, however I turned around and run back to where I started.
Yangmingshan National Park Transverse – for a hill training:
With the group doing multiple tough hills in preparation for our Grand Canyon R2R trip, I felt pressured enough to do one hill training while I was in Taiwan. The Yangmingshan National Park was a natural choice of location. There are extensive hiking trails in the park. Actually the park authority was holding a transverse challenge, for hikers to reach all the ten peaks in the park. At each peak, there is a wooden post with one Chinese character on top of it. Adding all the characters together, it will read “Yangmingshan East to West Transverse Challenge” （阳明山东西大纵走活动）.
It was designed for a 12 hour hike, and I did 8 of the 10 peaks in 5 hours:
To get to the start point, Fengguizui, I took the red MRT to Shilin station:
I jumped in a taxi outside of the station, and it took me passing the National Palace Museum, then on a winding mountain road with many unnerving blind curves up to “Fengguizui”:
The trail was nice and gentle for the first part:
I ran pass the first the first peak without noticing it, but found the wooden post marking the 2nd peak:
The 3rd peak (Zhugao Peak) is more pronounced (left in the picture below):
From Zhugao Peak, looking south to Taipei city:
Looking north to Qixing peak, the highest one on the trail:
Coming down Zhugao peak, I ran back to the main trail. Soon I was greeted by a nice looking bridge, where I took a picture with Qixing peaks in the background
There is a service center after the bridge, where a steep stone stairway leading up to Qixing peaks. It was so steep that I had to stop running and start walking. Great view halfway up Qixing peaks:
After countless stone steps, I reached the Qixing east peak. However, the real highest point, Qixing west peak, still a little further:
Finally I was on the top of Qixing peak, the highest point in Taipei city:
The Chinese character “West” mark it as the fifth peak in the transverse challenge:
Going down the peak, I ran past a couple small volcanic blow holes:
There is a service center (Xiaoyoukeng) near the blow holes, where water and food are available:
From the service center the trail leads to Balaka Highway. Hikers need to travel on the highway for a while. The cars I encountered gave enough room for me and other hikers.
After about a mile on the highway, a sign bought me back to the trail, where a steep stone stairway leading up to Datun mountain:
The view was getting wilder at this point:
Reached the 2nd highest peak in the park, Datun Main Peak, after another steep climbing:
There are three peaks in Datun Mountains: Main Peak, South Peak and West Peak. The trail was in good shape until the South Peak:
Between Datun South and West Peaks, as well as the way leading down West Peak, the trial was primitive, where ropes were in place to aid the hikers:
After four and half hour of running, walking, climbing and panting, I finally reached the west peak, the last one for the day:
From here, you can do an additional 2 mile loop to reach two more small peaks (Xiantianshan and Miantianshan), or you can take the trail straight down the mountain as I did.
This small temple marks the end of the trail:
From here, a regular mini bus service links to Beitou station of the Red MRT line.