Caoling Historic Trail 草嶺古道

Northeast Coast of Taiwan

The Caoling (Tsaoling) Historical Trail connects Gongliao (貢寮) with Dali (大里) on Taiwan's northeast coast. It was originally constructed in 1807 and provided an important transport link between Taipei and Yilan (the only other alternative at the time was to travel by sea). Now it is just a destination for walkers and tourists. The Taiwan Lonely Planet Guide says, "If you can only do one hike during your stay in Taiwan, make it this one". 

The trail is 8 kilometres long and depending on your level of fitness will take around three or four hours to hike one way. When you reach the pass you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Taiwan's northeast coast. The trail is easily accessible by train. Catch a train to Gongliao and then return to Taipei by catching a train from Dali. An alternative route is to follow the ridge from the pass along the Taoyuan Valley trail. You can then descend to Daxi (大溪) from where you can also catch a train.

Coaling historic trail

Just did this one. AMAZING!

If I could comment on one thing for any prospective readers: DEFINITELY continue along the ridge to Toayuan trail and Daxi. TOTALLY worth it.

Another option is to go down past the Temple (name? starts with a "shen...") from the junction of the two trails (coaling/Toayuan). Also leads to Daxi.

Went that way because i was out of water and it looked shorter. People at the temple gave me dinner and let me fill my water bottles. AMAZING!

Trail ends right in front of the beach ... go soak those tired feet!