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Why Caoling Historic Trail is special ?
The Caoling Historic Trail cuts across Sandiao Cape (Sandiaojiao), starting at Yuanwangkeng, just inland from Fulong, and ending at Dali on the coast. It is the only remaining section (rebuilt by the Tourism Bureau) of the old Ching dynasty trail that was constructed 130 years ago to provide the only land link down the Northeast Coast from Tamsui to Yilan. The present trail is approximately 10 kilometers long and offers a pleasant hike of two to three hours.
Two large boulders along the trail bear Qing dynasty inscriptions and are listed as third-class historic sites. One of the inscriptions has four Chinese characters meaning Bravely Suppress the Wild Mists and the other bears the single character Tiger (the tiger is believed to control the winds). Both were ordered by the regional commander of imperial forces in Taiwan, and were meant to ward off the baleful influences of nature in this once-remote area.
What to explore at Caoling Historic Trail?
Along the trails, plenty of native broad-leafed tree, cultivated coniferous trees, and subtropical “flying spider-monkey tree ferns” can be seen. Walk up the slope and you will see historical Diesima Bridge, Xianji Rock, a stone inscription that states “boldly quell the violent mists” by head of the Qing army in Taiwan, Liu Ming-deng, and the Tiger Inscription. After you have passed all of these spots, the hill-top scenic pavilion should not be far away. There is an antique Earth God and Goddess Temple made of stones near the pavilion and a board that marks the border between New Taipei City and Yilan County. Along the path are three more pavilions, information boards, a service area hosted by the Maintenance and Management Office under the Forestry Bureau, and public toilets. It takes 3 to 4 hours to complete one trip.
How to get to Caoling Historic Trail?
Nat'l Hwy 5 → Exit at the Toucheng Interchange → Prov. Hwy 2G → Prov. Hwy 2
THSR Taipei Station → TRA Dali Station
THSR Taipei Station (or TRA Taipei Station) → Guo-Guang (Kuo-Kuang) Bus (bound for Yilan, Luodong) to Tiangong Temple stop.
- Serene, Pleasant
- Great hike
- Fairly straightforward day hike with nice views
- Nice, easy hike near fulong
- Nice Hike!
Caoling Historic Trail
Tips for you
To hike the Caoling Historic Trail, you can take the train from the Fulong or Gongliao station, and walk (about 40 minutes) from there to the head of the trail in Yuanwangkeng. From the other end of the trail, you can take the return train from the Dali station. If you are driving, you can consider leaving your car at Tiangong Temple in Dali and hiking the trail both ways.Transportation
“nice, easy hike near fulong” If you're looking for an easy day trip hike from Taipei, Caoling Historic Trail is a good one. The hike can be started from either Fulong (福隆) or Dali (大里). It seems like a lot of people start from Fulong and end in Dali, but based on our experience, I would recommend going from Dali to Fulong for two reasons. One, you can end your trip at Fulong and head toward the beach. Two, from Fulong the uphill seems to be much longer, versus from Dali where the uphill is immediate and steep, but after that is mostly downhill (the walk, however, from the end of the trail to the train station is a bit long and just follows the highway). Also, most groups seem to start from Fulong, so if you go a little later in the day (we started at 11:30am), by the time you hit the middle of the trail, there are a lot fewer people. Do note that this is a very popular hike. On a weekend the trail is crowded with people, so be warned. In the mid of November, the silver grass was abundant and beautiful, especially in the wind. The trail itself is well marked and there isn't anything crazy about the hike--no ladders or ropes. There is a split off where you can head toward Fulong (or Dali, depending on where you started), or go off toward the Taoyuan Valley trail. On a hot sunny day, be sure to bring sunscreen or a hat as a lot of the trail is exposed. Starting from Dali, there isn't a convenient store nearby, so I would suggest getting water and snacks beforehand. If you start from Fulong, there are plenty of 7-11s near the train station. At a moderate pace the hike will take 3-4 hours (about 9 kilometers).