TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—As the Lunar New Year holiday has begun, I would like to introduce a nice trail along the southern border of Taipei City for people in the Taipei metropolitan area to explore during the week-long holiday.
On January 27 (Saturday), I took a hiking trip to Yinghedong Waterfalls (銀河洞瀑布) from Provincial Highway No. 9 in Xindian (新店). After visiting the waterfalls, I continued to hike towards the Maokong Gondola’s Maokong Station and then came back from there. The hike including breaks and photo taking took me about three and a half hours to complete.
I was greatly impressed by the views of the verdant forests that are full of primitive plants such as ferns and tree ferns as well as the quietude along the trails. I found the environment along the trails very pleasing to my eyes and soothing to my mind.
Boosted by the perfect weather on that day, I had a very joyful hiking experience. I will not go into details of my itinerary, but instead will focus on giving directions.
I suggest that people intending to hike to Yinghedong Waterfalls begin their trip from Maokong Gondola. Take the gondola lift to the Maokong Station, the last and highest station of the lift. As you leave the station, you will see stairs across from the station exit. Go up the stairs and follow the direction signs to Mt. Erjiaoge (鵝角格山).
The entrance of the trail to Mt. Erjiaoge (鵝角格山)
Follow the sign to Mt. Erjiaoge (鵝角格山)
The trail mainly consists of stone stairs that wind through dense forests. Follow the ascending trail for about 20 minutes to reach a four-way intersection where there is a pavilion and a wooden direction sign post. The pavilion is a good place to stop and rest.
The trail to Mt. Erjiaoge (鵝角格山)
The trail to Mt. Erjiaoge (鵝角格山)
I must point out that there is a trick to following the sing post. Remember don’t take the Yinghedong Waterfalls trail the sign post points to even though you are going to the waterfalls. If you take the trail, it will lead you to a wrong place and possibly cause you to get lost. I learned the lesson from a past experience. Instead, you should take the trail to Mt. Erjiaoge.
A tricky direction sign post. Take the trail to Mt. Erjiaoge
After passing the mountain and coming down, hikers will leave the Mt. Erjiaoge trail to join another trail (Camphor Lake Trail). On this stretch of the trail, hikers can see a cute cat-themed blessing bell tower on the right-hand side and tea farms on the left, and after walking about a couple hundred meters, they will come to another four-way intersection with a direction sign post. This time, follow the direction (turn left) and take the waterfall trail to Yinghedong Waterfalls.
Along the trail to the waterfalls, hikers will pass a terraced field, more forests, and a couple of streams. Some stretches of the trail have gravel surfaces and are soothing on the feet. The waterfalls over a cliff are usually thin and look like silk falling down. With a temple on one side of the waterfalls, a mystical and very poetic atmosphere exudes from this place.
Yinghedong Waterfalls (銀河洞瀑布)
After taking a rest at the waterfalls, hikers can go back from here to the Maokong Gondola over the same route that they have just taken or continue hiking down the trail to reach Provincial Highway No. 9, then turn right and walk a few hundred meters along the highway to the Bus 650 terminal stop to catch a bus to Taipei.