The Xianjiyan Trail (仙跡岩) heads up a 144 meter high mountain, that despite its low height, offers amazing views over the city, including of Taipei 101. A gentle hike that the whole family can enjoy, it’s also not busy compared to some hikes in the city. It’s a great activity to do in combination with a cycle ride up the river or a visit to the Jingmei Night Market.
The Xianjiyan trail does have a section of two that is a bit steep, but it’s not too taxing most of the time. Once you get towards the top it’s quite a gentle hike. For an unpopular trail, it’s surprisingly well maintained, with much of it lined with stone paths and stairs, as well as maps and signs in English. There is also a Buddist temple along the way to explore. Xianjiyan itself is a rock up the mountain that legend says is a footprint laid by Lu Dongbin, one of the ‘Eight Immortals’.
Once you get to the summit, you’ll have a few options. You can either return back on yourself, or you can continue east on a few branch trails. The easiest one to do if you don’t want to repeat your tracks is the trail that heads north-east towards Wanfang Hospital Station on the Taipei Metro’s brown line.
Time required: Up to 90 minutes if you are just heading to the first summit, or up to three hours if continuing on
Difficulty: Easy with a few steep sections
How to get there
The nearest station is Jingmei Station, on the southern end of Taipei Metro’s green line. From Taipei Station, it can be reached via the nearby Beimen Station (18 minutes, NT$25). From Jingmei Station, the start point is a 5 minute walk east (there are signs showing you the way). Alternatively follow the Google Maps link below and head up the path next to the ‘Xianjiyan Scenic Area’ sign.