Biking Trip  Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

Biking Trip Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

Written by Senior Editor Xue-yao KUO
Remember the commercial in which Takeshi Kaneshiro rode a bike in the farm field of Chihshang in Taitung? That catch phrase, “I have been to so many places, but did I really get a feel of the world? Sometimes I am not even sure.” has touched many travelers’ hearts that they know journey is good but don’t know the purpose for leisure. This time we introduce 5 top cycle routes where you can not only enjoy the fun of cycling during travel but also feel connected with the beauty of nature from the agri-tour experiences.

Maple Atmosphere Shi-er Liao Bike Path

Shi-er Liao is surrounded by the mountains and water, the name Shi-er (means 12 in English) comes from its series number in the old times when the Er-mei District in Hsinchu grew camphor trees and shacks were built here. Under the government’s guidance in 1987, Shi-er Liao transformed into a leisure agriculture complex demonstration area. The Shi-er Liao Bike Path, with a total distance around 7 kilometers, passes Shi-er Liao Leisure Farm, Tung Blossom foot path and agricultural product sales center along the way. And the Mt. Lions Head (Shi-tou), Mt. Wu-zhi, and Mt. Er-Gong-Ji, Xi-Mao-Pu Suspension Bridge and Nature Loving Wonderland are in the views. Generally many bikers come here to cycle around the lake, and because there are maples on two sides, many visitors from other cities or counties come watch the red maple leaves in fall. The route also surrounds Ta-pu Reservoir so that there are plenty of natural ecology.
By Shi-er Liao Bike Path, there is a place where visitors can pick cosmos, roses, grapefruits, carrots, lettuce and green peppers; it is the Shi-er Liao Leisure Farm, which is a greenhouse farm adopting net house cultivation to manage and produce vegetables and fruits all year round. The owner, Mr. Huang was originally in the manufacturing industry, later on he followed his father to take care of the agricultural production and marketing course so the old farm was transformed into a leisure farm. Currently the farm is mainly for sightseeing and fruit picking, with functions of education, leisure, sightseeing, fruit picking and tours, and therefore is the best place to have agri-tour in four seasons.
Also in the north, Nei-gou-xi Bike Path in Neihu District, Taipei City is close by the downtown that many bikers visit. The scenery full of plants and trees along the way and the streams of the Nei-go-xi together with the traditional farmhouses of bricks and tiles against the birds singing and insects buzzing in the surroundings, making people feel tranquil and comfortable.

Biking Trip  Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

(Nei-gou-xi Bike Path in Taipei. Photo: Louise)

Green Shady Atmosphere Dong-feng Green Passage and Houli Bikeway

Dong-feng Green Passage used to be the Dongshi branch line of old mountain railway lines, with a total distance around 12 kilometers. It is the only close loop bike path in Taiwan. Along the way, bikers can see the old Shi-gang train station that was torn by the Earthquake 921, and the 0-egg platform named after the Taiwanese homophonic “vendors’ stands” and the centennial mango tree that is said to have an Earth God watching after children playing on the tree. Houli Bikeway is connected with the Dong-feng Green Passage, with a total distance around 4.6 kilometers. And the important landmark of the old mountains train line, the steel bridge, channel No. 9 with history and Houli Horse Farm that visitors can have horse riding experiences are all here. Because of the tree shades, it is rather cool instead of burning hot even in the scorching summer. Besides, there are more than bikes for rent, tandem bikes are available as well so that when families visit together, kids can also have the fun of biking.
Coming to Dong-feng Green Passage and Houli Bikeway, don’t miss the “Pears Homeland”, the emerging leisure farm area under government guidance. It was initiated by the Dongshi Farmers’ Association, which integrates the software and hardware. Asides from the “Pear Season” every July, there are also firefly season, bald cypress season etc in different times of the year. When the pear trees blossom during November to February, it is also the harvest time for Murcoot, Minneola tangelo and Tankan, it is quite impressive to see the good harvest of the citrus fruits. Every year crowds of visitors are attracted here for fruit picking. Throngs of photographers also come here to seize the beauty of flower seas and fruit plants. How lively!

Biking Trip  Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

(Dong-feng Green Passage in Taichung. Photo: Vivi Wu)

Water Atmosphere Tong-yuan-jun Bike Path
The County Highway No. 139 in Nantou is famous as bikers’ mecca, meanwhile, the Tong-yuan-jun Bike Path is worth visiting as well. The path was built along the banks of Tong-yuan-jun, connecting Mt. Bagua and Min-jian Township in Nantou County, and it also connects to another bike path, Mao-luo-xi Bike Path, which is around 5 kilometers long. Wuji-yaochi Temple, Sheng-an Temple, I-Ching University, and Taiwan Mochi Museum are all on the way. On the sides of the bike path is the greenish field scenery. Agricultural produce such as gingers, tea and rice is everywhere along the way. Besides, there are water conservancy facilities such as watermills and irrigation channels underneath the bike path, therefore it is good for parents and kids to get close to water and have water science education that enforcing the concept of cherishing water resources.
Nantou Leisure Farm, right on the bike path, also serves as a rest station for bikers. Here visitors can not only rent bikes but also experience the DIY activities in the farm, or hiking and taking a rest in the Multifunctional Activity Square, Organic Farm, Camping Area, Ecology Pond, Herbal Plant Area and Pavilion. The elevated observatory enables visitors to see the distant splendid Mt. Jade, Jiji Great Mountain, Mt. Hehuan, and Mt. Jiujiu. Such an outstanding natural landscape is a must-see!
In the central Taiwan, there is a bike path next to Gaomei Wetlands in Taichung, Gaomei Bike Path, with a distance of 1.7 kilometers. The path starts from the southern bank of the estuary of Dajia River, passing Gaomei seawall access road till the coast in Dapai Town, Qingshui. It is an emerging bike route for locals. Bikers can see the rich fauna and flora as well as the green landscape in Gaomei Wetlands; moreover, they can witness flocks of migration birds rest in the relay station, a magnificent view!
Biking Trip  Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

(Gaomei Wetlands in Taichung. Photo: Louis)

Serene Atmosphere Wanchin Settlement

Because of Wanchin Church, the catholic church with the longest history throughout Taiwan, it attracts crowds of visitors to come to Wanchin Settlement in Pingtung every Christmas season. If you come here on weekdays, you could experience another kind of atmosphere that is serene and easy. By the road to Wanchin Military Base is the “Lovers’ Green Shade Boulevard”, eucalyptus and mahogany are grown along that makes it so green. At the other end, “Wulaluz Permanent House” of the Paiwan people in Taiwu Village is rebuilt here after stricken by the Typhoon Morakot. If biking around the Wanchin Marian Shrine Area, visitors will pass Wugoushui Old Street and several leisure farms in Yenshan Leisure Farm Area, i.e., a bell fruit farm, a guava farm, a mysterious fruit farm and a milk ranch that are good for agri-tour activities.
Right under the North Dawu Mountain by the Wanchin Military Base is the Chwem-Yuam Leisure Farm, producing French quails. In recent years, in cooperation with the Rural Rejuvenation Scheme initiated by the Government, it endeavors to promote and integrate industries with local characteristics and environmental protection. It also develops culturally-diversified activities in the community, demonstrating the enchantment of rural village. To promote the special culture of the mountain-side leisure farming area, it plans out a wide variety of propaganda, DIY activities, village visits and guided tours, portraying the diversified culture of the village and attracting tourists to share the tranquil scenery, clear water and fresh air of Wanluan. Besides, it also has opportunities for children to understand the growing process and characteristics of quails, so kids can experience activities such as feeding quails and picking quail eggs in person. If time permitted, visitors are also welcomed to taste the special cuisines on the farm and enjoy a leisure holiday!

Biking Trip  Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

(Wanchin Church in PIngtung. Photo: Chong-you KUO.)

Nature Atmosphere Luodong River- Xinliao River Bike Path

The Luodong River-Xinliao River Bike Path stretching across Luodong Township and Dongshan Township in Yilan County connects Luodong Sports Park with 3 leisure farms and stretches freely to Sanqing Temple, Renshan Botanical Garden and Xinliao Waterfall Trail. Along the riverbank to the bike path, the road condition is flat that the parents and kids can have bike trips together here. Along the trip, the family can DIY lotus paper by the riverbank or go to the bald cypress trees in Luodong Sports Park and enjoy the dreamy sights. When going through Meihua Lake Scenic Spot, visitors can take a rest and have a cup of coffee here to watch the birds and natural scenery by the lake.
As bikers cycle along the bike path and pass through Zhongshan Bridge, after turning into the Xinliao River area, they will see the Zhongshan Leisure Farm area. There are a plethora of leisure farms, fruit farms and tea farms here. Visitors can freely choose the scenic spots, DIY their own agri-tours, fruit picking, and tea tasting activities. Not long after passing through Xinliao Bridge, visitors will see San-fu Leisure Farm where feeding fish by the pond, watching parrots or enjoying meals with friends and relatives in the Purple House Forest are available. To reminisce fun in childhood, stilts and rolling hoops can also be found here.
And Guanshan Bike Path surrounding the town in Taitung County is also biker friendly and ideal for agri-tour. There are Guanshan Leisure Farm and 713 Farm. The path can be dividend into water section and mountain section that bikers can appreciate the rice filed views changing along with four seasons and fully experience the village life in different perspectives.

Biking Trip  Top 5 Popular Cycle Routes

(Guanshan Bike Path Surrounding the Town in Taitung. Photo: Johnson WANG)