Taiwan is an island nation east of China with contemporary cities, hot springs resorts and dramatic mountainous terrain. To many people in Taiwan, running is a path that leads to self-awareness.
It allows them to push themselves to the extreme and identify and expand their physical and mental limits or simply peacefully coast along a solitary path feeling the earth as it moves beneath their feet.
Millions of people run for pleasure or to improve their level of fitness. There are several excellent running trails in Taiwan. The following are some of the best ones.
1. Sun Moon Lake
This 30 km (19.3 mile) trail is an excellent location to test yourself. However, it can be quite challenging. It generally takes about 3.5 to 4 hours to complete this course which has a technical rating of difficult. It is located in the mountains just outside Taichung in Central Taiwan. The trail takes you up and down the many hills surrounding the gorgeous and famous Sun Moon Lake.
2. Green Island (Part 1)
The running trails around Green Island in Taiwan are simply amazing. In its entirety, the running trail is 23.36 km in length. The trail itself is divided into two parts. Part 1 is 12.2 kilometres (7.6 miles) long and located near the town of Zhongliao, in Taiwan. Although it takes only 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, the terrain is very challenging and it is recommended for experts only.
3. Green Island (Part 2)
This trail around beautiful, scenic Green Island is 11.2 km (6.9 miles) in length and is close to Baijiao, Taiwan. This trail offers runners an opportunity to take in the amazing beauty of the Taiwanese coast. If you are into running you must try it if you visit Taiwan. The course takes about 1.5hours to complete but it is rated for experts only.
4. Taipei Train Station to Danshuei
This 25.6 km (15.8 miles) trail that runs between the Taipei Train Station and Danshuei on the Taiwan coast is described is being moderately difficult. The run itself can normally be completed in anywhere from 3.5 to 4 hours. This allows many more people to experience this beautiful route near Sanzhangli, Taiwan.
5. Taichung Metropolitan Park
The 3.9 km (2.4 miles) long trail in Taichung Metropolitan Park in Taiwan is a great place to run if you just have a little time but want a nice run. The trail is located above and to the north of Dadushanding and although it is of moderate difficulty, it can easily be completed in only 30 to 45 minutes. It’s a great place to run any weekday morning or afternoon. There is a lovely little lake in the park that adds a meditative element to the run.
The running trail in the town of Meinong is nice. The trail itself is 21 kilometres (13 miles) long and is considered to be of moderate difficulty. It’s near Niujiaowan, Taiwan. Most people enjoy the many butterflies they see along the trail but aren’t quite as impressed by the dogs and traffic which they encounter during the final few kilometres of the trail. However, it’s a great way to get a nice 1.5 to 2 hour run.
7. Kinmen Marathon Route, Kinmen National Park, Jing-nin Township, Kinmen County, Chinese Taipei
The Kinmen Marathon route which runs through Kinmen National Park, Jing-nin, National Kinmen University, and Taiwan Strait is a great running trail. The trail runs through 42.2 kilometres (26.2 miles) of amazing scenery that provides a snapshot of life in Taiwan. The trail takes runners past rare plants, animals, and natural formations, Maokong rock, traditional homes, beaches, modern Taiwanese homes and businesses, and much more. The route is rated moderate and can be done in between 3.5 and 4.5 hours by anyone.
8. Taroko Gorge Marathon Route, Taroko National Park
This is another fabulous 42.2 kilometre (26.2 miles) trail that people from all over the world come to enjoy each year. This trail is unique because it runs through Taiwan’s world-renowned Taroko National Park. Located in Hualien, Taiwan, this trail in the midst of Taroko National Park runs through a gorge that is completely surrounded by mountains. Running this trail is an experience one will remember for the rest of their life.
9. Fubon Taipei Half Marathon Route
This trail rolls past some of the most interesting and picturesque places in Taipei. They include Riverside Park, Baling Bridge, Maruyama, Wind Tower, the Taipei City Civic Plaza, the Healthy Way ramp on the elevated ramp, Jen Ai Road, and Zhongshan Road. Running this trail gives you a glimpse of Taiwan’s past, present, and future. The route includes hills, valleys, roadways, and parkland over its 21.1 kilometre (13.05 miles) length. Taken in totality, the Fubon Taipei Half Marathon trail is considered to be of moderate classification.
10. Taipei Metropolitan Park Trail
This trail features an eclectic mix of green grassy park land, river banks, large trees under which musician and martial artists go through their paces, small temples, stores, and even a flea market. In the end what makes this easy trail so beautiful is that it offers city dwellers the opportunity to take their minds off their work or study, and run the 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) and relax.
Running in Taiwan, The Heart of Asia
Many Taiwan running trails offer pleasant and scenic experiences. You can run alongside a lake with sparkling turquoise waters, see colourful boats, small beaches, frogs, birds and other wildlife. You can run through, past, and among bamboo, banana, and palm trees, ferns, rice paddies and more.
You’ll run across modern and ancient bridges, fishermen, food vendors and temples. They are all part of the intriguing Taiwanese running trail experience.