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2018-04-30

[Must See & Do] Bike Paths around Taiwan


10 Routes Perfect for Exploring Scenery and Culture

Text and Photos: Vision

Bicycling is VERY popular in Taiwan these days. This hasn’t always been the case; there were times when the bicyclists you would see on roadways were most often elderly men on old, squeaky steeds. You still occasionally see such slow-moving road users, but it’s more likely that you’ll encounter younger riders on YouBike or CityBike public-rental cycles or modern racing machines, bikers on the latter often all geared up wearing tight shorts and shoes with clips.

Two main reasons for the local passion for cycling are the trend toward pursuit of a more healthy and active lifestyle and government efforts to make bicycling more convenient and safe, both in cities and the countryside, by building an extensive network of bike paths and lanes. While serious bikers will prefer longer routes along main roads – many going on 10-day round-the-island trips – casual bicyclists are more likely to prefer less-challenging outings, following dedicated easy-grade and motor-vehicle-free bike paths. The good news is that there are many such paths around the island. Following is a quick overview of 10 bike routes that allow you to explore city and countryside in a relaxed manner on two wheels.

1. Riverside Bike Paths, Taipei City

Riverside Bike Paths

Locations

Bike paths can be found along the city’s major waterways – the Tamsui, Keelung, Xindian, Jingmei, and Waishuang rivers.

Getting There

Take the Taipei Metro (Taipei MRT) to stations close to the rivers, including Songshan, Gongguan, Jingmei, Yuanshan, and Daqiaotou.

Length

The full Taipei City riverside bike-path network surpasses 100 kilometers, and seamlessly connects with the ever-wider network of riverside routes in New Taipei City.

Bicycle Rental

There are many YouBike public-rental stations across Taipei City/New Taipei City, many close to riverside bike-path entry points (floodgates). Check the map at taipei.youbike.com.tw or on the YouBike app. Taipei Riverside Bike Rental Centers are also found right by the bike paths, including at Dadaocheng Wharf and Gongguan.

Wayside Attractions

Riverside parks, waterbird areas, scenic bridges, and much more

 

2. Tamsui River Left Bank Bike Path, New Taipei City

Tamsui River Left Bank Bike Path

Location

This bike path along the Tamsui’s left bank starts at Zhongxing Bridge and takes you all the way up north to the settlement of Bali at the mouth of the river.

Getting There

From Taipei City, choose from several bridges to cross the Tamsui into New Taipei City (Sanchong District). On the bridges you’ll find either ramps or staircases to get you down to the riverside bike path..

Length

About 20km

Bicycle Rental

Look for YouBike rental stations close to riverside access points (floodgates).

Wayside Attractions

Riverside parks, views of Taipei City across the river, Guandu Bridge, Bali Wharf, Waziwei Nature Conservation Area

 

3. Dahan River and Xindian River Bike Paths, New Taipei City

Dahan River and Xindian River Bike Paths

Location

These rivers are the two main tributaries of the Tamsui River, which starts at their confluence off the southwestern corner of Taipei City (Wanhua District).

Getting There

Following the Dahan, southwest from the Dahan-spanning bike/pedestrian-dedicated New Moon (Xinyue) Bridge in New Taipei City’s Banqiao District, pedal as far as the towns of Yingge and Sanxia; following the Xindian south brings you to New Taipei City’s Xindian District and the Bitan Scenic Area.

Length

Dahan River Left Bank (Xinbei Bridge – Taoyuan City Border) 24.7km; Xindian River Left Bank (Huajiang Bridge – Bitan) 15km

Bicycle Rental

Look for YouBike rental stations close to riverside access points (floodgates); riverside bike-rental centers can be found at Bitan and other locations.

Wayside Attractions

Riverside parks, New Moon Bridge, Rainbow Bridge over Xindian River, Bitan Scenic Area, Yingge Old Street, Sanxia Zushi Temple

 

4. Old Caoling Circle Line Bikeway, Northeast Coast, New Taipei City

Old Caoling Circle Line Bikeway

Location

Fulong village in New Taipei City; the bike route starts right at the railway station, moving in a generally southerly direction, proceeding parallel to the railway line, going through the old railway tunnel, then following the coast first north and then west all the way back to Fulong.

Getting There

Take an eastbound train from Taipei to Fulong.

Length

The loop route (Fulong Railway Station, Old Caoling Tunnel, Sandiao Cape, Fulong Visitor Center) is about 22km long.

Bicycle Rental

A number of private rental shops are just outside Fulong Railway Station, with individual bicycles, tandems, and e-motor bikes available.

Wayside Attractions

Old Caoling Tunnel, Lai Lai Marine Terrace, Sandiao Cape Lighthouse (side road uphill), Mao’ao Fishing Village, Fulong Beach

 

5. Dongshan River Bike Path, Yilan County

Dongshan River Bike Path

Location

This bike path follows both banks of the Dongshan River in Yilan County’s Dongshan Township, connecting Dongshan Railway Station with the National Center for Traditional Arts.

Getting There

Take a train to Dongshan Railway Station.

Length

The full loop, from the station to the center and back, combining the left and right bank paths, is about 21km long.

Bicycle Rental

Rentals can be found opposite Dongshan Railway Station and at Dongshan River Water Park.

Wayside Attractions

National Center for Traditional Arts (www.ncfta.gov.tw), Dongshan River Water Park, Dongshan River EcoArk

 

6. Chishang Dapo Pond and Blue Line Bike Path, Taitung County

Chishang Dapo Pond and Blue Line Bike Path

Location

East/southeast of Chishang town in Taitung County, this route takes you around Dapo Pond and along narrow roads through photogenic rice paddies.

Getting There

Take a train to Chishang.

Length

About 20km (including Mr. Brown Avenue)

Bicycle Rental

There are rental shops east of the railway station and close to both ends of Mr. Brown Avenue.

Wayside Attractions

Dapo Pond, Mr. Brown Avenue

 

7. Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way – Houfeng Bike Path, Taichung City

Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way – Houfeng Bike Path

Location

In Fengyuan and Houli districts of Taichung City in central Taiwan; the bikeway follows a former railway line.

Getting There

Take a train to Fengyuan, head to Fengyuan Bus Station, and take bus No. 90, 91, 206, 207, or 208 to Shigang Dam bus stop.

Length

About 12km one way

Bicycle Rental

There are rentals close to Shigang Dam bus stop.

Wayside Attractions

Old railway tunnel, old steel bridges, old railway station, Hakka museum, Shigang Dam

 

8. Jiji Green Tunnel and Around-Town Bikeway, Nantou County

Jiji Green Tunnel and Around-Town Bikeway

Location

Jiji is located in central Taiwan’s Nantou County, west of Sun Moon Lake; this bike route circles the small town and brings you to the Green Tunnel, a stretch of County Route 152 with a leafy canopy.

Getting There

Take a train (Jiji Branch Line) to Jiji Railway Station.

Length

The bike route around Jiji town plus the Jiji Green Tunnel is about 20km in total length.

Bicycle Rental

There are many rental outlets along Jiji’s main road close to the railway station.

Wayside Attractions

Jiji Green Tunnel, Jiji Railway Station, Mingxin Academy, Jiji Military History Park

 

9. Sun Moon Lake Bike Route, Nantou County

Sun Moon Lake Bike Route

Location

Sun Moon Lake is located close to the geographical center of Taiwan; the bike route circles the lake.

Getting There

Take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service Sun Moon Lake Route from central Taichung, or take the Jiji Branch Line to Checheng town and then transfer to a bus headed for Sun Moon Lake.

Length

The loop around the lake is about 30km long.

Bicycle Rental

There are rental shops close to Shuishe Wharf, near Xiangshan Visitor Center, and in Ita Thao Village.

Wayside Attractions

Wenwu Temple, Xuanguang Temple, Ita Thao Village, Xiangshan Visitor Center, and many other spots with splendid lake views

 

10. Dapeng Bay Bike Path, Pingtung County

Dapeng Bay Bike Path

Location

Dapeng Bay is located southeast of Kaohsiung in Pingtung County; the bike path circles the Dapeng Bay lagoon.

Getting There

Take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service Kenting Express Line from Kaohsiung (Zuoying Station) to Dapeng Bay (note: only four services a day to Dapeng Bay; please check the timetable).

Length

The loop around the lagoon is about 12km long.

Bicycle Rental

There is a bike-rental station at the entrance to The PenBay National Leisure Zone.

Wayside Attractions

Dapeng Bay Bridge, Qingzhou Coastal Recreation Area, The PenBay National Leisure Zone, Qifeng Wetlands

 

English and Chinese

Chishang Dapo Pond and Blue Line Bike Path 池上大坡池暨藍線自行車道
Dahan River and Xindian River Bike Paths 大漢及新店溪自行車道
Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way – Houfeng Bike Path 東豐自行車綠廊-后豐鐵馬道
Dongshan River Bike Path 冬山河自行車道
Jiji Green Tunnel and Around-Town Bikeway 集集綠色隧道暨環鎮自行車道
Old Caoling Circle Line Bikeway, Northeast Coast 東北角舊草嶺環狀線自行車道
Dapeng Bay Bike Path 大鵬灣環灣自行車道
Riverside Bike Path 河濱自行車道
Sun Moon Lake Bike Path 日月潭自行車道
Tamsui River Left Bank Bike Path 淡水河左岸自行車道

 

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