Jingmei MRT to Houshanpi MRT (15km) City Trail 景美到後山埤

Jingmei HoushanpiLooking for a trail run that’s easily within city limits? On this route, there is a nice mix of dirt trail (35%), paved trail (55%) and road (15%) and it crosses the brown MRT line so that you can choose to run some or all of it. There are some great city views and you can marvel at how close you are to towering buildings, while still on the trail. That’s not to say this is a walk in the park, the climbs and length of this route make it surprisingly challenging. Be prepared for some steep climbs, sharp turns and an easily accessible run.

20160619_101022This route is difficult to navigate so make sure you have a working GPX navigator app on your phone. Starting out at JingMei MRT (exit 3) head to JingFu st. turning left at the 4th small intersection, which brings you to WanQing Park. Continue along the park and follow the road as it turns towards the riverside park. Continue on the riverside until the first exit, from there you will find a small staircase which leads up to a ridge to start your trail run.

Along this route there are 4 small hills or ridges you will climb, each with a dip in between. The highest elevation is a meager 325m above sea level, but as you progress towards the last (and biggest) hill they become more and more challenging. Follow the initial paved trail until you find a small dirt path to the left. The first ridge is already over at 3.5km into your run, but the city lasts 800m before turning back towards the trail.

20160619_113924After the second ridge (6km) the route approaches Wanfang Community MRT station and if you would like to cut the run short you could choose take the bus or MRT from here. If choosing to continue you will climb the 1.5km of road, winding around the mountains before reaching the a small temple (嶺正忠) at kilometer 8. Here you can refill your water at the water cooler at the back right hand side of the temple, at the top of the stairs. To continue you on the trail, walk up the temple stairs and head left, near the temple bathrooms and continue onto a trail leading from the back of the top floor.

20160619_103554From the back of this temple, you are climbing the second last hill, and it is a relatively gradual climb. As it continues, there are views of both the Taipei Zoo and Taipei 101 on either side. The trail dips and meets up with a small section of road before  beginning the last ascent of the route, on the back trails of The Four Beasts Hiking Area. Here you are accompanied by the odd hiker, but it is far from the overcrowded steps on Elephant Mountain. There are short steep climbs before making a final descent to FuDe Rd. and back to the city. There are a lot of hiking paths in the Four Beasts Area, but the route follows a generally straight line before making a sharp left turn close to kilometer 14.

20160619_130650This is a great route to run if you want to hit the trails without getting too far out of the city. Although the views of city landscape are great, they would be even better at night. So if you are in the mood for a sunset trail run, bring your headlamp as this would be a great choice.

You can download the GPX file here.

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