Autumn is the best season for outdoor activities. You would either not be sweating from the inside to the outside or be knocked down by the strong winter wind. What’s more? There are some seasonal views exclusive in autumn. Pack up your backpack, let’s have a Taiwan autumn hiking tour.
When the autumn starts blowing, the hills in northeastern Taiwan are covered with the snow white carpet of the silver grass. To enjoy the view of silver grass, the best place to go is Caoling historical trail.
Caoling Historic Trail starts from Tiangong Temple of Dali in Toucheng Township, Yilan County, and ends at Yuanwangkengkou. It’s an 8.5 km trail. The trail is said to be pioneered by the aboriginal people. As the trail was trodden by more and more people, it later became the official way to connect Taipei and Yilan.
Setting off from Yilan and hiking along the mountain hiking route of the Trail, you can look over Guishan Island when arriving at the Pass. Or you can turn towards the Taoyuan Valley Trail featuring a large tract of grassland, and continue along the Caoling Historic Trail to enjoy the historical monuments, Tiger Inscription and Petroglyph of Xiong-Zhen-Man-Yan, preserved from the Qing dynasty, along the way.
Both sides of the Trail are covered with Miscanthus, because that the environment at the top of a mountain is too poor to grow trees. This is where the name of Caoling comes from (literary, “Grass Hill”). When the Trail is covered in Miscanthus flowers, people climb to the top of the mountain, and watch the mesmerizing scene in which endless white silver Miscanthus flowers swaying in the autumn wind.
Routine: It takes about 3 to 4 hours to walk from Dali to Gongliao. Most hilkers take trains to Fulong or Gongliao to get to the entrance of the trail. Then, walk to endpoint of the trail, Dali so that they can take the trains back to Taipei. Of course the reversed way works too. There’s a store where you can rent bicycle around Gongliao train station, many people choose to rent bicycles to the entrance so they can save the time for walking.
Extension: If you think a half-day hiking tour is too easy for you and feel like to have some challenge, you can start from Fulong station and turn your way to Taoyuan Valley then take Daxi trail to get to Daxi Station and get back to Taipei. It’s takes a whole day to finish the trail, but the scene definitely worth all your efforts.
To get to Caoling historical trail, the best way is to have a chartered service. (You don’t want to drive after a 8 hours walk, right?) The service can save your valuable time so you can spend more time to enjoy the mountain view.
It’s forbidden to pick up the sliver grass in the mountains. People who violate the rule may be fined.
2. The weather in the mountains can be unstable. It’s better to bring one more jacket, rain coat/umbrella and sufficient water.
If hiking for a long way is not your option, you can go to Qingtiangang to see the sliver grass all over the mountains. There are buses which can lead tourists directly to the destination. You can bring a picnic blanket so you can lay down on the hill to spend a leisure day.