Workout and explore : three incredible hikes in Taipei

Why not combining working out and going sightseeing! Taipei is full of amazing hikes and you should definitively make the most of it get your workout done.  Put on your best sneakers and go discover the city!  Here are three amazing hikes we have tried for you. Find the one that you prefer, or do them all!

Advice: Take your phone with you and track yourself with an App. Many Apps are available such as the Nike App. It will enable you to track your pace and the distance you run.

Here is a selection of three great hiking trails:

1) Elephant mountain

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Be ready to sweat because this run is a killer! I challenge you to count the steps, I haven’t done it because most of the time I am sweating too much to count.

The stairs are tough and steep but worth it! When you reach the top; you can enjoy an incredible view of the city and Taipei 101. At the top of the hill, you will find exercises equipment such as pull of bars and abs table.

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Advice: start with a quick 5/10 min warm-up and then go run up the stairs. It should take you about 15 minutes if you are fit. You might not be able to run all the stairs the very first time but at least walk up at your best pace. This is a great butt and cardio exercise.

How to get there:

  • Metro: MRT Xiangshan station (象山).This is the terminus of Red Line Take exit 2 to and continue walking until you get to the end of the park, then take a left. You will see indications about the trail (象山登山步道), total 650 meters, around 20 mins.
  • You bike : Two The closest station is located along the street next to the park at the base of the trail. Another station is located across the street from Taipei 101.

Time:  About 20 min

Difficulty: Pretty difficult. Give it a try anyway!

2) Fujhoushan Park 

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There are two entrances. You can enter from one side and exit from the other which will give you a full workout combining stairs and trails. You can also split your workout and decide to only run up and down wooden stairs (not many steps, so do it many times!)  and keep the hiking trail for another time. Comparing to Elephant Mountain, this trail is very easy.

How to get there

  • Metro: MRT to Linguang Station: Brown line. Then walk up on Wolong Street about 10 minutes and you will reach the park.
  • YouBike: You will find a Youbike Station at Linguang station

Difficulty : Beginner/Intermediate

Time : 30 min +

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3) Tiger Mountain and Lion Mountain

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Great Hiking/Running Trail. Here not only the stairs are killers. The full exercise is a mix of street roads, trails, and stairs. All the way the hike is pretty tough, as, even the road is very steep.  You can literally lose yourself as different paths are available. You will pass along great traditional temples, people’s houses and meet a lot of dogs (no need to worry, they are harmless )。 At the top, you can again enjoy the view of 101.

Make sure you have your phone or a map with you so you can find your way out, it can be confusing because there are many different roads!  I personally use Google Maps Apps to find my way but you can also use the App Galileo which is more accurate. Also, be careful with this trail if it is rainy, it can become slippery!

How to get there

  • Metro: Hou Shan Pi Station (Blue Line)
  • You bike: There is a YouBike station at the cross of Zhongpo South Road and Taipei-Keelung Main Rd ( Near Hou Shan Pi Station Exit 2).

Stop at Hou Shan Pi Station (Blue Line) Walk out and take Exit 2. Walk Straight until the intersection with Da Dao Road 大道路 where you will make a left and keep going for 10 minutes until you reach a “T” intersection at Fu De Street.福德街。 Turn left and then keep right to walk in a narrow street full of little food stalls. “Fude Street”

Keep going and you will see a sign for Lane 221.

Turn Right and start to walk. At some point, you will see a brown sign saying “ Hushan Crest Line Trail”. Don’t follow this sign and take a left.

Follow the road for a few minutes to a red sign and the trailhead. Here is a Junior High School. Take the street around it and you should see a big wooden sign saying “ Hushan Ziran Hiking Trail”.

This sign will lead you to a big read Sign “Si-Shou Shan Public Forest”. This is the entrance to the trail.

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advance

Time: 30 min +

Now that you have a few options of where to go to discover Taipei while getting your workout done,  put on your best running shoes and bring it on!

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Photo source: Alex di Suvero for The New York Times

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