Taiwan Bike Paths 10 Routes Perfect for Exploring Scenery and Culture
Text and Photos: Vision
[mks_dropcap style=”letter” size=”90″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]B[/mks_dropcap]icycling is VERY popular in Taiwan these days. This hasn’t always been the case; there were times when the bicyclists you would see on roadways were most often elderly men on old, squeaky steeds. You still occasionally see such slow-moving road users, but it’s more likely that you’ll encounter younger riders on YouBike public-rental cycles or modern racing machines, bikers on the latter often all geared up wearing tight shorts and shoes with clips.
Two main reasons for the local passion for cycling are the trend toward pursuit of a more healthy and active lifestyle and government efforts to make bicycling more convenient and safe, both in cities and the countryside, by building an extensive network of bike paths and lanes. While serious bikers will prefer longer routes along main roads – many going on 10-day round-the-island trips – casual bicyclists are more likely to prefer less-challenging outings, following dedicated easy-grade and motor-vehicle-free bike paths. The good news is that there are many such paths around the island. Following is a quick overview of 10 bike routes that allow you to explore city and countryside in a relaxed manner on two wheels.
Riverside Bike Paths, Taipei City
Locations: Bike paths can be found along the city’s major waterways – the Tamsui, Keelung, Xindian, Jingmei, and Waishuang rivers.
Length: The full Taipei City riverside bike-path network surpasses 100 kilometers, and seamlessly connects with the ever-wider network of riverside routes in New Taipei City.
Bicycle Rental: There are many YouBike public-rental stations across Taipei City/New Taipei City, many close to riverside bike-path entry points (floodgates). Check the map at taipei.youbike.com.tw or on the YouBike app. Taipei Riverside Bike Rental Centers are also found right by the bike paths, including at Dadaocheng Wharf and Gongguan.
Wayside Attractions: Riverside parks, waterbird areas, scenic bridges, and much more
More about biking in Taipei: Taipei YOUBIKE Tour (from Yuanshan to Songshan)
Tamsui River Left Bank Bike Path, New Taipei City
Location: This bike path along the Tamsui’s left bank starts at Zhongxing Bridge and takes you all the way up north to the settlement of Bali at the mouth of the river.
Getting There: From Taipei City, choose from several bridges to cross the Tamsui into New Taipei City (Sanchong District). On the bridges you’ll find either ramps or staircases to get you down to the riverside bike path.
Length: About 20km
Bicycle Rental: Look for YouBike rental stations close to riverside access points (floodgates).
Wayside Attractions: Riverside parks, views of Taipei City across the river, Guandu Bridge, Bali Wharf, Waziwei Nature Conservation Area
More about biking along Tamsui River: Taipei Biking: GUANDU / BALI / TAMSUI
Dahan River and Xindian River Bike Paths, New Taipei City
Location: These rivers are the two main tributaries of the Tamsui River, which starts at their confluence off the southwestern corner of Taipei City (Wanhua District).
Getting There: Following the Dahan, southwest from the Dahan-spanning bike/pedestrian-dedicated New Moon (Xinyue) Bridge in New Taipei City’s Banqiao District, pedal as far as the towns of Yingge and Sanxia; following the Xindian south brings you to New Taipei City’s Xindian District and the Bitan Scenic Area.
Length: Dahan River Left Bank (Xinbei Bridge – Taoyuan City Border) 24.7km; Xindian River Left Bank (Huajiang Bridge – Bitan) 15km
Bicycle Rental: Look for YouBike rental stations close to riverside access points (floodgates); riverside bike-rental centers can be found at Bitan and other locations.
Wayside Attractions: Riverside parks, New Moon Bridge, Rainbow Bridge over Xindian River, Bitan Scenic Area, Yingge Old Street, Sanxia Zushi Temple
Old Caoling Circle Line Bikeway, Northeast Coast, New Taipei City
Location: Fulong village in New Taipei City; the bike route starts right at the railway station, moving in a generally southerly direction, proceeding parallel to the railway line, going through the old railway tunnel, then following the coast first north and then west all the way back to Fulong.
Getting There: Take an eastbound train from Taipei to Fulong.
Length: The loop route (Fulong Railway Station, Old Caoling Tunnel, Sandiao Cape, Fulong Visitor Center) is about 22km long.
Bicycle Rental: A number of private rental shops are just outside Fulong Railway Station, with individual bicycles, tandems, and e-motor bikes available.
Wayside Attractions: Old Caoling Tunnel, Lai Lai Marine Terrace, Sandiao Cape Lighthouse (side road uphill), Mao’ao Fishing Village, Fulong Beach
More about biking at the Northeast Coast: Biking Around FULONG Beach
Dongshan River Bike Path, Yilan County
Location: This bike path follows both banks of the Dongshan River in Yilan County’s Dongshan Township, connecting Dongshan Railway Station with the National Center for Traditional Arts.
Getting There: Take a train to Dongshan Railway Station.
Length: The full loop, from the station to the center and back, combining the left and right bank paths, is about 21km long.
Bicycle Rental: Rentals can be found opposite Dongshan Railway Station and at Dongshan River Water Park.
Wayside Attractions: National Center for Traditional Arts (www.ncfta.gov.tw), Dongshan River Water Park, Dongshan River EcoArk
More about biking in Yilan: YILAN Biking — Fun along the Dongshan River
Chishang Dapo Pond and Blue Line Bike Path, Taitung County
Location: East/southeast of Chishang town in Taitung County, this route takes you around Dapo Pond and along narrow roads through photogenic rice paddies.
Getting There: Take a train to Chishang.
Length: About 20km (including Mr. Brown Avenue)
Bicycle Rental: There are rental shops east of the railway station and close to both ends of Mr. Brown Avenue.
Wayside Attractions: Dapo Pond, Mr. Brown Avenue
More about biking in Taitung: Biking in GUANSHAN, Taitung
Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way – Houfeng Bike Path, Taichung City
Location: In Fengyuan and Houli districts of Taichung City in central Taiwan; the bikeway follows a former railway line.
Getting There: Take a train to Fengyuan, head to Fengyuan Bus Station, and take bus No. 90, 91, 206, 207, or 208 to Shigang Dam bus stop.
Length: About 12km one way
Bicycle Rental: There are rentals close to Shigang Dam bus stop.
Wayside Attractions: Old railway tunnel, old steel bridges, old railway station, Hakka museum, Shigang Dam
Jiji Green Tunnel and Around-Town Bikeway, Nantou County
Location: Jiji is located in central Taiwan’s Nantou County, west of Sun Moon Lake; this bike route circles the small town and brings you to the Green Tunnel, a stretch of County Route 152 with a leafy canopy.
Getting There: Take a train (Jiji Branch Line) to Jiji Railway Station.
Length: The bike route around Jiji town plus the Jiji Green Tunnel is about 20km in total length.
Bicycle Rental: There are many rental outlets along Jiji’s main road close to the railway station.
Wayside Attractions: Jiji Green Tunnel, Jiji Railway Station, Mingxin Academy, Jiji Military History Park
More about Jiji and Nantou County here: Scenic Attractions in Central Taiwan’s NANTOU County
Sun Moon Lake Bike Route, Nantou County
Location: Sun Moon Lake is located close to the geographical center of Taiwan; the bike route circles the lake.
Getting There: Take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service Sun Moon Lake Route from central Taichung, or take the Jiji Branch Line to Checheng town and then transfer to a bus headed for Sun Moon Lake.
Length: The loop around the lake is about 30km long.
Bicycle Rental: There are rental shops close to Shuishe Wharf, near Xiangshan Visitor Center, and in Ita Thao Village.
Wayside Attractions: Wenwu Temple, Xuanguang Temple, Ita Thao Village, Xiangshan Visitor Center, and many other spots with splendid lake views
More about Sun Moon Lake here: The Wonderful SUN MOON LAKE National Scenic Area
Dapeng Bay Bike Path, Pingtung County
Location: Dapeng Bay is located southeast of Kaohsiung in Pingtung County; the bike path circles the Dapeng Bay lagoon.
Getting There: Take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service Kenting Express Line from Kaohsiung (Zuoying Station) to Dapeng Bay (note: only four services a day to Dapeng Bay; please check the timetable).
Length: The loop around the lagoon is about 12km long.
Bicycle Rental: There is a bike-rental station at the entrance to The PenBay National Leisure Zone.
Wayside Attractions: Dapeng Bay Bridge, Qingzhou Coastal Recreation Area, The PenBay National Leisure Zone, Qifeng Wetlands
More about Dapeng Bay and Little Liuqiu here: Fun at DAPENG BAY and LITTLE LIUQIU