Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Taipei opens four new hiking trails

FAMILY FUN:Various paths are being joined up to form loop trails, with gentle gradients suitable for the elderly, who form a large population among hiking enthusiasts

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, right, listens to a presentation about the Tiger Mountain ecology trail in Taipei City’s Xinyi District yesterday.

Photo: Lin Hsiang-mei, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government yesterday introduced four new hiking trails in Xinyi (信義), Shilin (士林) and Beitou (北投) districts, bringing the total number of hiking trails to 129 amid plans to develop a different “personality” for each trail to attract more hikers.

The four hiking trails, the Tiger Mountain (虎山) ecology trail in Xinyi, the green mountain trail in Shilin, and the wind’s tail and waterwheel hut trails in Beitou, are loop trails with gentle gradients and recently established observation decks, and are perfect for families and the elderly, Lin Yu-i (林裕益), director of Taipei City’s Geotechnical Engineering Office said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday joined members of a local hiking group to experience the Tiger Mountain ecology trail and said he expected the paths to promote outdoor sports and recreational activities.

“Many of the hiking trails are designed for families and the elderly, who account for a large percentage of the hiking population. Hiking is a good way to enjoy the city’s landscape and we hope to encourage more people to join the hiking fraternity with these well-designed trails,” he said.

The city government started promoting hiking trails in 2005 with easy public transport access and lower gradients, and there is a total of 100km of trails so far.

Lin said the city would budget NT$60 million (US$2 million) this year to maintain trails and link existing paths to form loop trails.

In Wenshan District (文山), for example, the city government will connect three trails in the popular Maokong (貓空) area to let visitors combine a hike with a ride on the Maokong Gondola.

Lin said the city government also offers a free app on trail information for smartphone users to download, as it seeks to attract a younger crowd to join outdoor activities.

The app “GoHikingTaipei” is available for Android and Windows phones and it will be available for iPhone users by the end of this month, he added.

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