Hiking in Taiwan is a remarkable experience and Taiwan’s Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳) is a great place to start. Taiwan’s Xiao Bai Yue is a perfect list of 100 suburban mountain peaks suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山) is listed at #003 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). It is located in Zhongshan District (中山區) in Keelung City (基隆市) in the northern part of Taiwan.
Situated just north west of Keelung, Dawulun Mountain is less than a 20 minute bus ride away. At an altitude of 231 meters, the Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山) peak is not particularly high, but the views are spectacular. Don’t worry if you’re looking to get outdoors and are concerned about your skill level. This is a fantastic hiking experience along a trail that isn’t too difficult. There really is only a few sporadic sections of steeper elevation gains and stairs. However, when you’re hiking in Taiwan, you can always expect to find some elevation.
There are three main areas that make up the Dawulun Mountain area. Dawulun Fort, Lover’s Lake and Eagle Rock/Lover’s Tower.
To reach the peak and conquer #003 on Taiwan’s Xiaobaiyue you’ll have to hike up to an abandoned fort (Bonus!). This heritage site was a critical defensive stronghold guarding the west side of Keelung Port during periods of the Qing Dynasty. During the Opium Wars and the Sino-French War, the Qing court sent troops to garrison the fort. Fast forward a hundred years and if you get a chance to get up to this site nowadays, you’ll get a chance to experience the reconstruction of this heritage site that occurred during the Japanese occupation period (1895 to 1945).
Amazing Heritage Site
Dawulun Fort is large-scale, well-preserved and features a short stone wall and entrance channel around the perimeter. Think of it as a moat. There are three main areas including the entrance channel, the barracks and the cannon pan. Although it has lost its military use it still retains a rich historical value. Dawulun Fort is listed as a second-class historic site in Taiwan. From the clearing next to the ruins, hikers get a great view of Keelung Islet off the north coast of Taiwan.
Lover’s Lake & Lover’s Tower
Formerly known as Wuyi Pi (五義埤), Lover’s Lake is a stream-sourced lake situated at about 150m elevation. There is a beautiful hard-surfaced trail that loops around the lake and offers plenty of view points to explore. Great for kids and adults alike! The Lovers Lake Circular Trail (情人湖環湖步道) itself is about 1.4km in length and has little elevation. The route around the lake is perfect for young families with strollers. Kids and adults alike will enjoy frequent spots to look out for turtles, fish and frogs.
As you begin the ascent and climbing up and around to Eagle Rock to the north and down to Lover’s Tower extends the hike by another 600m or so. If you are looking for shade, this trail is covered by dense trees and is great on hot days and in rainy weather too. Head out to Eagle Rock (plenty of signage to help) and you’ll get great views of the north coast of Taiwan, Waimushan (外木山）and down over the picturesque Dawulun Beach (大武崙海灘）
Depending on how long one takes enjoying the different scenic views and interpretation, it should take about two hours at an easy pace to explore the entire area. The well-maintained hiking trails around the lake are great and even if it has recently rained, Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山) isn’t a bad place to explore.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Driving to Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山): Click here for Google Maps and if you’re parking at the entrance of Lover’s Lake (click here). It gets busy but this parking lot (or parking on the street) might be your best option. Don’t have a lot of time? Drive straight up to the entrance of Dawulun Fort with its dedicated parking lot. It’s kind of a cheat code for the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳), where you can easily find a peak in less than 5 minutes. Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山) is approximately 1 hour from Taipei.
Taking Public Transit to Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山): The Keelung City Bus 505 leaves every 30 minutes to the Jinren Lake Station from the Keelung Train Station.
Here is a short video in Mandarin with English subtitles to help give you an idea of what the hiking experience is like at Dawulun Mountain (大武崙山) in Keelung City.
If you’re looking for a quiet and remote forest hike experience this make not be what you’re looking for, but it is a fantastic day for the whole family