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The Northeast Coast of Taiwan is a place where the mountains meet the sea, making it perfect for climbing to high places that offer fine oceanic vistas. Among the hiking trails in the area are popularized routes such as the Bitou Cape Trail and Caoling Historic Trail; common trails such as those up Nanya, Hemei, Laolan, Longlong, Fulong, and Tongpanku mountains, as well as the Taoyuan Valley Trail; and relatively challenging trails including those up Wankengtou Mountain, Yingshi Peak, and Seven Brothers Mountain. All of these trails are suitable for day hikes.
The Caoling Historic Trail is among the most interesting--and most pleasant--of all these hiking routes. It cuts through the mountains across a peninsula, from Gongliao Township in the north to Dali in the south, and is a restored section of an old Qing Dynasty trail that provided the only land link between the Taipei area and Yilan in the 19th century. It has over 130 years of history; the restored section stretches about 10 kilometers, and takes three or four hours to walk.
To restore the trail, which had become overgrown and almost forgotten, the Northeast Coast National Scenic Area Administration and the local residents worked together to find the old route and repave it in stone. Along the trail you will come across two Qing Dynasty inscriptions, written by the imperial army commander of the time and inscribed in stone: "Tiger" and "Boldly Quell the Wild Mists." Meant originally to help subdue the sometimes vicious weather in the area, these inscriptions are now listed as third-grade historic sites.
Nearby tourist attractions include Longdong Bay Park, Longdong South Ocean Park, Longmen Camping Resort, and Dali at the southern end of the trail, all of which present outstanding opportunities for observing the rocky coastal terrain. If you like water activities, there are no finer choices than Fulong Beach and Yanliao Seaside Park.