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Tamsui Kavalan Trail - a trail with hist ...

Tamsui Kavalan Trail - a trail with history and views (Anusha hiking journal)

Nov 24, 2022

Hey hiking friends,

It's my Friday journal here. I have done many hikes, but not all of them will be on Taiwan Hikes. So, I decided to start this journal every Friday. Those are only for Taiwan Hikes' supporters every Friday.

One thing about the trails in Taiwan is many of them used to be the major transport passages decades ago. During that time, life was harsh. People walked on those trails trying to sustain themselves or make ends meet.

(Shiding used to be a coal mining town.)

Now, people move to big cities to have a better life. Many old trails are either taken back by the nature or transformed into modern highways.

(Tiger Stele on Caoling old trail)

This week is about Tamsui Kavalan Historic Trails - Middle Section. As you can guess, TK trails have several sections: the north, the middle, and the south. Each of them served different purposes. Those trails were built in the 1900s and served different purposes.

(Tamsui Kavalan Historic Trail map from Tourism and Travel Department, New Taipei City Government)

The Tamsui mentioned here has nothing to do with Tamsui in New Taipei City. It referred to Taipei during Qing Dynasty; Kavalan referred to Yilan.

The north section starts from Ruifan in New Taipei City to Dali in Yilan around 65 km. This was built for the Qing Government government to deliver policies or deployment. The famous Ciaoling Historic Trail is part of this section.

(Caoling Old Trail)

The middle section starts from Nuannuan in Keelung to Wai'ao in Yilan around 60 km. This was built for the civilians to transport goods and commute.

(On the way to Wai'ao)

The south section starts from Liuzhangli in Taipei City to Jiaoxi in Yilan around 64 km, This one served as the tea trading route. This one is also called Tea Trail.

(You will find many Earth God temples like this on the trails.)

I've done several parts of the north and middle sections, but never finished them all. Yet, my favorite among them is the middle section. I plan to finish this section in 3 days someday.

(The old bridge on Kuolai Old Trail, one trail of the middle section)

Why do I love the middle section so much? History aside, this section has the most beautiful views, from winding rivers to old stone bridges, and temples.

When you are close to the end, you can see Turtle Island (Guishan Island) near Wai'ao Beech.

(Looking at Turtle Island at a lookout)

The trail terrains are not treacherous compared to my previous hikes. I love the tranquility of this trail.

While walking on those trails, I might just brush my shoulders with people from a different spacetime. (Hope this doesn't sound too creepy XD)

If you like those old trails, I hope you will get a chance to do those hikes. You don't have to do all of them. Just pick up a section and enjoy the rivers and trees.

(Jimuling near the north section)

More later next Friday.


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