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.
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 Xizhoushan (溪洲山)
Xizhoushan (溪洲山) is listed at #023 of the Xiao Bai Yue (小百岳). Xizhoushan (溪洲山) can be found in Longtan District (龍潭區) in Taoyuan City (桃園市). The Xizhou Trail is a short hike located on the north side of Shimen Reservoir in Taoyuan City, opposite Shimen Mountain across from the famous Shimen Dam. This area is also a very popular bird watching destination in northern Taiwan.
Hiking Xizhoushan (溪洲山)
Starting out from the trail head linked in the directions below, you’ll find the actual paved path ascend from adjacent and behind a small store right on Kangzhuang Road. Walking up this single lane paved path for a short distance the trail surface changes into a more natural trail with soil and rocks.
For the first short while the hiking trail is slightly more opened with fewer shaded sections. This transitions into a single track, more natural trail that weaves it way up through a rather untidy, yet beautiful forest. From here this hiking trail is nearly completely shaded, making it a great trail to hike in the summer. This coverage is also really beautiful and includes hanging vines, to tree ferns and larger broadleaf trees.
The first kilometer requires a fast ascent of 400 meters along a relatively easy trail surface. If there has been recent rain or it is raining this trail could get slippery and muddy. After this initial climb, the trail flattens out for another few kilometers towards a rustic cement gate. When you reach this gate, you know you’ve finished most of the climb.
A small clearing opens up at Yugong Pavilion (愚公亭) with some rickety wooden pavilions and some exercise facilities. Grab a snack and take a break or keep moving on It’s not the most scenic of spots.
From here you can head northeast towards Xizhoushan peak or southwest towards Xinxizhoushan (新溪洲山). For now head northeast towards the peak of Xiao Bai Yue #023, Xizhoushan. From Yugong Pavilion, it is over 2km to the peak and triangulation point of Xizhoushan. The trail is relatively flat, however does have some slightly more challenging areas with some roped sections and even and short little scramble up a rocky section. Nothing too difficulty for those with some hiking experience.
For beginners, it would simply be an adventure. You’ll know that you’ve arrived at the peak as you approach a second clearing with benches and a corner stone in the center. The views are ok off to one side, but the views can be found as you climb up and going down.
From the peak you double back along the same trail and pass Yugong Pavilion (or you can simply go back down from three) and head on to Xinxizhoushan (新溪洲山). The remaining trail slowly descends back to Huanhu Road and Xizhoul Park. Continue to walk out and down towards your car or enjoy the scenery in the park and possibly birdwatch while your there.
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:
- Water – About 2.5L of fresh drinking water
- Food – There are no services along this trail and limited to restaurants at suggested parking. Bring lunch or snacks to keep energy levels up.
- Washrooms – Available at 阮家莊土雞城-老大店.
- Sunscreen – Almost the entire trail shaded, with about 10% unshaded.
- Camera/Phone – Reception is available along all portions of this trail.
How to Get Xizhoushan (溪洲山)
Driving to Xizhoushan (溪洲山): If you are driving, you can set this as your location – HERE. Note can enters the gate into the Shimen Reservoir (NTD$100/car). You will see parking lot for Xizhou Park on the right hand side. If you don’t want to pay for parking, street parking is located in and around the trailhead at the link above.
Taking public transportation to Xizhoushan (溪洲山): There is nearly direct public transportation from Taipei Main Station to Xizhoushan (溪洲山), however it will likely take about 2 hours to commute. This gets you within a <10 minute walk to trailhead. Take the train from Taipei Main Station to Zhongli Station. Walk 5 minutes to the Taoyuan Bus (Zhongli) Terminal Station. From there take the 503 Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Shimen Reservoir Line (15 stops). It is a 5 minute walk from there. Here is the Google Route.