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Yilan County Outdoor Activity Guide

An outdoor sports map/guide of Yilan County, Taiwan. Sponsored by Goldfish Space 金魚。厝辺

It is organized into five categories with subcategories of specific routes in Google Maps and pictures along the way:


Road running/gym

Hike/river trace



Last update: 11/28/2020


Route 1: Toucheng to Wai'ao

Toucheng Old Street → Kailan Rd south→ Jixiang Rd. → Wuying Agricultural Rd. → Stonbo Lodge → past the Skydiving center → decent into Wai’ao Beach on Shikong Rd

Notes: 261, Yilan County, Toucheng Township, 仙公路201巷65號蜻蜓石民宿 Stonbo Lodge Really nice place to stay!!! You won’t see the lodge from the route but you will be close. Can see Mr. Brown Café castle from this route with nice views of GuiShandao. Will pass a paragliding shop. Traffic is little to nonexistent on this route.

Route 2: Toucheng Loop

Toucheng Old Street → Kailian Rd south→ Jixiang Rd. → As soon as cross the river take a right onto 宜 3-1 → Follow this and do the 15km loop

Notes: Very steep at some parts. ~500m climb ascent/descent with some ~15-20% gradient sections. Small paved road where traffic is little to nonexistent. Have seen all kinds of wildlife on this route, peacocks, monkeys, hawks, Muntjac, all kinds of smaller birds.

Route 3: Daxi, New Taipei City, Fulong, Coastal 大溪, 新北市,福隆

Toucheng → Route 2 North → PAST Wai’ao, guishan, Beiguan Tidal Park → once arrived in Daxi take left on 内大溪路 → follow this loop all the way to Shuangxi → Go right to Gongliao, either follow to route 2 east OR cross the river at the big red bridge and take Dongrong Street to Gongliao station → Xueyan St → Route 2 past Fulong Beach → Take left at Fulong Station and follow Guishougu cycling road → caoling tunnel → Spits out at Route 2 → South all the way back to Toucheng

Notes: Amazing, amazing route. From Daxi long ascent with awesome switchbacks to views of surrounding hills and mountains at top and long descent into Shuangxi. Section of road may get a little traffic (nothing crazy) as there are some hiking trails in the mountains. I suggest bringing food and water, after Dasi there is no place to buy anything until Shuangxi. Shuangxi, Fulong both have 7/11 Family Mart. Old Caoling tunnel is an old tunnel converted into a cycling/walking path. NO cars. Be careful on coastal highway Route 2 (there are sections with a dedicated separate cycling path, sections of open shoulder, and sections with NO shoulder and BIG trucks going highspeed). Total ~90km. For the pure cyclist.

Route 4: Coastal Cycling Road

Toucheng → south on Route 2 for ~2-3km and after the bridge take any left to the coastal cycling road.

Notes: The coastal Road is about 13km, very beautiful/flowy out and back and has many places to relax and sit with quick access to sandy portions of beach/coastline. Great for families and kids.

261, Yilan County, Toucheng Township, Lane 468, Section 2, Toubin Road, 17號竹安河口自行車步道.

Route 5: Road 7 (7甲)to Wuling and Road 8 through Taroko Gorge

Touchengà route 191 → Yilan → Route 7 → Siji Town → Nanshan → Huanshan (Sqoyaw)→ left on Route 8 to Lishan→ follow until Hualien

Notes: +275km from Yilan through the mountains to Hualien. Huge climbs up until Wuling (if not the highest paved road in Taiwan it’s up there)up to +2500m. Paved the whole way. Pack for all weather. Goes through Yilan, Taichung, Nantou and Hualien counties. Can find places to stay in Nanshan and Huanshan (Sqoyaw). Intermittent train departures will let you take the bike on back to Toucheng/Yilan without having to pack it.

Route 6: North/Northeast/Yangmingshan陽明山

Head north along the coast route 2 → Longdong → Bitou → Keelung → Yangmingshan route 2甲 → Taipei along the river to Bitan → route 9 back to Yilan

Notes: In addition to cycling, one can find cliff diving, snorkeling, free diving, climbing, hiking, fishing all along this route. In the summertime can hear about 20 different kinds of cicadas in Yangmingshan, SUPER LOUD. Will ride past sulfur deposits. Up Yangmingshan is ~25km, 900m to the top. From Bitan to Yilan along the whole route 9 is ~60km, 1000m. Route 9 can be busy with motorcyclists. Total ~200km, 2500m

Route 7: Yilan Cycle Route

Notes: Really nice route close to Yilan city.

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Route 1: Toucheng Road Run/Walk頭成真

頭成真Toucheng Sports Park → Kailanlu → Jixiang Rd → Yisan Rd to route 9 and back is a nice windy, rolling out and back (paved) route with little traffic. (10km, ~90m) Can extend the route with two separate paved sections that follow two creeks that go perpendicular to Yisan rd. to qingyun rd and back. (~18km, 130m)

Route 2: Track and Toucheng Sports Park頭成户外运动公园

Notes: Toucheng Middle School (next to Toucheng Sports Park) has a small gym with a few weight machines, dumbbells up to 10kg, ellipticals, stationary bikes and two treadmills for 30NT dollars. Closed on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. Open 6pm-9pm other days. Extremely unreliable opening hours. Area including school and park include an open 8 lane 400m track with access to basketball courts, pullup bar, turf football (soccer) fields, playground for kids, bocce ball pit. Stadium lights on the turf field go until 8:30pm.


Route 3: Track and Gym

Lanyang Technology University. 6 lane 400m track inside the school mostly open outside of working day school hours. Gym with ellipticals, treadmill, free weights, stationary bikes, free cable tower, squat rack, bench press, direct mount plate machines. Best gym in Toucheng for strength training. 450TND for 10 sessions.

蘭陽技術學院 261宜蘭縣頭城鎮復興路79號

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Route 1: Hike Caoling Historical Trail Network 草岭古道

Entrance 1: Daxi 大溪Station go north→ Left on the road that sign says “To Taoyuangu” can find entrance to hiking trail

Notes: Sections of this are stone steps that can get really slippery when it rains. At the top of the ridge are beautiful open views and grass that you can find cow trails to run but are mostly dedicated stone trail. I clocked a 3h10min power hike/run loop from Daxi up to the ridge line and down to Qingyun temple and back on flat Route 2 for a total 13km/900m. Food/water can be found at the temple and in Daxi. At草嶺古道埡口土地公廟 and the Tiger inscription can take the trail all the way to Fulong for an extra 7km one way.

Entrance 2: Dali 大理Station go north → behind Caoling Qingyun temple can find the entrance to the hiking trail

Notes: The last part of the hike is along Route 2 towards Fulong Station. About 500m of this section is an open shoulder with trucks. After the gas station, there is a pathway on the opposite side of the road for walking/cycling. If you are a serious runner, you can continue past the Fulong Station, down Guishougu Street and through Caoling Tunnel back to coastal route 2.

Route 2: Waterfall Hike (Xinfeng Falls) 新风

Notes: Small swimming spot next to the dam. Cookouts and relaxing. Continue up the road to a small hike to the river past an abandoned vacation resort and then mainly river tracing for about 1.5km until you reach the waterfall. Can take a dip in the water, bring a swim suit.

Route 3: HoudongKeng Waterfall

Paoma Historical trail. There is a really nice pizzeria/café at the top of Paoma Hiking trail but 200kuai minimum to sit.

Route 4: Shengmu Hiking Trail (Sacred Mother) 圣母

Notes: ~3 hours, 800m of climbing, 4km hike from Wufengqi Waterfall scenic area. Concrete, gravel and steep rocky sections. Bring water, snacks and a camera! This historic trail has lots of connecting trails to Pinglin and all over Yilan.

Route 5: Linmei Shipan Trail

Notes: 1.5km walk/hike. Great hike for family/kids and a decent loop for running if you so wish.

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Location 1: Yilan宜蘭 Pool

50m outdoor pool, indoor 25m. The outdoor pool is not heated which is great because most pools in Taiwan are too hot for intense training. The indoor pool is good for a warm down. Also has a small gym with nice treadmills and some weight equipment but only for VIP members. 180 per swim or 10 times for 1500 (cannot use the exercise equipment). During winter months the pool is open from 5am-10:30am (they will ask you to get out of the water at 10am) and again from 4pm-9pm. If you want to cycle there from Toucheng, route 191 is a nice flat route with wetlands on either side. Enjoy nice views of the mountains and many birds with minimal traffic and wide shoulder.

260, Yilan County, Yilan City, 金六結路239號水築館游泳池

Location 2: Jiaoxi Pool

Jiaoxi has a nice 25m pool of hot spring water from the mountains. 2 different temperature hot spring wading pools and a kid pool. 100NT dollar entry fee.

262, Yilan County, Jiaoxi Township, 礁溪路六段13巷2號礁溪鄉公所溫泉游泳池

Location 3: Toucheng Outdoor Sports Park Pool

25m pool and kids area. Mountains in the background and train runs by the front. 50NT dollar entry fee. Open during the summer from late June-end of August, close at 8pm.

Location 4: Choushui beach swim

For open water swimming, from Toucheng’s McDonald’s, follow the road towards the ocean. Swim south South of the harbour and use the empty buildings/towers as markers. You can find a hose for washing at Seaview Coffee along the 800m coastal walkway.

Location 5: Bitou 鼻頭and Longdong 龍洞

Bitou - Snorkeling, cliff jumping and free diving. Comfortable recreational fishing spot. Past the reef there is a keyhole with a nice free diving spot down to 13meters. Can also cliff jump into the keyhole at about 5-8 meters high.

Longdong - Snorkeling, climbing and cliff jumping. A small ~600meter hike over rocks and boulders to the swimming hole. Multiple spots to snorkel and cliff jump (5-12 meters high). There are over 100 different climbing walls (sport and top rope) and a bit of bouldering of every grade and difficulty from beginner to expert.

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The best surfing in Taiwan is along the southeast coast, but in Yilan from Toucheng/Wai’ao up to Daxi, there are some good beginner conditions with a few pretty decent breaks depending on the season and swell conditions. Winter is more consistent (1-3 meters) whereas summer (avg 0.5-1.5 meters) is a bit more hit and miss, albeit can get some great swells with incoming typhoons (can get to be wayyy overhead). Probably need a wetsuit Nov-Jan.

Location 1: Beiti

Notes: Beiti is a bit of a party vibe with a couple surf shops that offer lessons and other surfing amenities. Mostly rights. Can get really crowded. Surfing only, no swimming.

Location 2: Wai’ao 外澳

Wai’ao is a bit farther north, less crowded but also with its own shops, hostel (2?), and bar/restaurant. Check out Drifter’s Pizza and Pub for live music on Saturday and California Surf for locally made craft beer from Yilan, coffee, surf lessons, and a bed to sleep. Good place for casual swimming and relaxing as well as surfing. Less crowded than Beiti.

Location 3: Double Lion雙獅

Notes: From Wai’ao, go north past the rocky headland and find the beach on the other side of the Muslim “palace”. A beach break with some good breaks near the headlands both north and south.

Location 4: Gengfeng

Notes: Left break off the harbor jetty. Not a beginner wave. USE CAUTION for the rocky bottoms and some jacks/tetrapods can be hidden at higher tides.

Location 5: Honeymoon Bay (蜜月湾) [Daxi]

Notes: No real point break but gets some good sandbars. A bit more secluded and more of a local spot. North swell gets some choppy lefts, south swell is generally better with nice rights.

Location 6: Choushui 臭水

Notes: Nearest spot to Toucheng village. “Perfect lefts” off the tetrapods.

Location 7: Nanti

Notes: Long stretch of beach with multiple spots that break. Can swim as well. Drive the coastal cycling road and choose a spot. Graveyard (bunch of broken ships) is becoming a more popular spot. Good at low tide, can be a bit of a current. Watch out for fishermen.

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Here is a downloadable PDF of this post (without pictures) for easy use in the field!

Yilan Outoor Activity
Download PDF • 919KB

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