Have you ever wanted to climb the most unique and diverse hiking trails in a single country? Well for beginners and novice hikers, 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.
The Xiao Bai Yue is 100 mountain climbs oriented towards sub-urban destinations and routes suitable for novice hikers. These include beginner routes like Dawulun Mountain, novice routes like Dongyanshan National Forest and some that are more challenging, like Jialishan.
About Feifengshan (飛鳳山)
Feifengshan Trail (飛鳳山) is listed at #027 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). Located in Qionglin Township (芎林鄉) in Hsinchu County (新竹縣), this itinerary takes a 6km looped route that incorporates both the Feifengshan Trail and the Guan Ri Ping Historic Trail (觀日坪古道) and includes climbing three small peaks along the way. They include:
- Feifeng Mountain: At 423m above sea level this peak is listed as the official #027 of Taiwan’s Xiao Bai Yue. It is named after the shape of the mountain, which is said to look like a flying phoenix stretching its neck and closing its wings.
- Shibitan Mountain: At 402m above sea level, this is the smallest of the three peaks and features a third-class triangle point cornerstone.
- Zhongkeng Mountain (中坑山): At an altitude of 462 meters, it is actually the highest point of Feifengshan Trail. Many local Taiwanese hikers consider this as the certification point of Xiao Bai Yue on Feifengshan.
Hiking Feifengshan (飛鳳山)
As the itinerary below includes the looped route and both Feifengshan Trail and
Guanriping Ancient Road, we suggest starting the trail from left side of the temple located at the designated driving location. There is a trail map board located at this spot. The trail begins as a paved trail and features a few switchbacks as the trail climbs up behind the temple. Hikers arrive at a stone staircase.
These stairs continues for a few hundred meters before it turns to a cement path and eventually evens out a bit and turns to an interlocking stone path. The first rest stop has a standard gazebo and offers views north towards the surrounding Hsinchu area. Follow the stairs up behind the gazebo.
Compared to other hiking trails in Taiwan, the stairs here are not too steep and are very well-maintained. It can be tiring to hike stairs, but the occasional views over the plains of western Taiwan can keep your spirits up. The next gazebo (300m) offer much of the same views as before.
From here the trail flattens out and continues along a ridge walking east. This section of the hiking trail offers little shade and eventually transitions into a natural, compact soil trail. As the trail widens, take note of a merging trail on your right (this will be the trail you take on the way back). You are now hiking a short 350m towards the peak of Zhongkeng Mountain (中坑山). The trail changes between stone stairs and compact soil for the final ascent. The views are nice (albeit somewhat obstructed) from the peak and the clearing allows for a lot of people so it doesn’t get too busy up there.
Follow the path back down and at the fork take the left trail. This trail continues down hill slightly along a stone path. Hikers will arrive at a “T-Junction” at a paved path. Turn right towards a small cafe (風情萬景) that is open only on weekends. The trail narrows quite a bit and the forest closes in, providing shade and making the trail more intimate. Some steeper sections here as you descend down.
There are ropes if you need them. Careful as you are walking along this section of the trail. You will see a small trail lead off to the right. If you want to get to the triangulation point for Shibatanshan (石壁潭山), head up that trail for a few minutes. Continue along before you arrive at the Guan Ri Ping Historic Trail (觀日坪古道) trail head. A short walk along the road back to your parking completes the loop.
What to Bring
When hiking in Taiwan consider your capabilities before heading out. We hope this helps provide insight into the level of difficulty. When it comes to the kinds of equipment or resources one should bring when hiking this trail in Taiwan, we’ve provided a list below:
- Gloves – There are a few sections that feature ropes, but gloves aren’t essential
- Water – About 2L of fresh drinking water
- Food – There are is a small cafe with hot/cold drinks and some light snacks available. Otherwise there are no services along this trail. Bring lunch or snacks if you don’t want to buy them.
- Washrooms – Available at cafe and at temple trail head.
- Sunscreen – The trail is a mix of shaded and unshaded.
- Camera/Phone – Reception is good along all portions of this trail.
How to Get to Feifengshan (飛鳳山)
Driving to Feifengshan (飛鳳山): If you are driving, you can set this as your location – HERE. Parking is pretty convenient on this trail and depending on where you start you can get pretty close to the trail head. This is a popular hike in Hsinchu, so be cautious of arrival times.
Taking public transportation to Feifengshan (飛鳳山): Public transportation isn’t great to reach Feifengshan.
- From Taipei Bus Station, you can take a bus 1820 for 10 stops to Qionglin Bus Station. From there it is a 2.2km walk to the Feifengshan trail head. Here is the Google Route.
- From Hsinchu High Speed Train Station, you can catch a regular train from Liujia Station (150m walk from High Speed) to Zhuzhong Station. From there, walk to Fengbang Company (Here) to catch the 5608 Bus to Hsinchu Bus Zhudong Station (20 stops). You’ll catch the 5633 Bus to Qionglin and get off after 6 stops. This is then requires a 2.2km walk to the Feifengshan trail head Here is the Google Route.