Introducing The Caoling Historic Trail / 草嶺古道介紹

Although Taiwan’s history dates back thousands of years to early indigenous peoples, much of the country’s history can be lived and discovered by foot. One trail that offers a unique perspective as well as delivers absolutely stunning views is the famous Caoling Historic Trail. While a very popular trail in northern Taiwan, day trippers and hikers in Taiwan seek out this trail that stretches Yilan County on the east coast of Taiwan and New Taipei City.

台灣的歷史可以追溯到幾千年前的南島語族祖先,但除了參觀遺跡外,我們也可以透過在步道上探索來發現其他歷史的痕跡,而草嶺古道就是其一,它不只提供獨特視角以及壯麗的景色,更有著濃厚的歷史色彩,許多台灣的一日遊旅客和健行愛好者都會來這條從新北市一路延伸到宜蘭縣的步道朝聖。

Enjoy some of the best coastal views in Taiwan along the Caoling Historic Trail
  • Dongman Trail Length/步道長度: 8.5km
  • Total Hiking Distance/步行距離: ~10km
    This includes accessing the trailhead in Gongliao and walking sections of the Taoyuan Valley Trail / 包含從貢寮區的入口和桃源谷步道
  • Total Hiking Time/步行時間: 2-3hrs
  • Suitability/難度: Easy hike with some stairs / 有階梯但簡單
  • Mobile Network Reception/收訊狀況: Fairly strong reception on most sections of the trail / 大部分都有收訊
  • Services/公共設施: Washrooms are located at ~1km marker and at ~5km marker. Washrooms also available at cafe at ~7km marker. / 廁所在1km、5km處,及7km的咖啡廳內
  • Food/食物: Cafe serves a variety of hot and cold food, as well as drinks such as coffee, soft drinks and beer. Water is available at the cafe. Various food vendors, washrooms and water refill stations are available at Dali at the end of the trail. / 在大里端的咖啡廳有提供冷熱食、裝水處、飲料及啤酒

Starting the Hike / 草嶺古道全攻略

If you’re setting off to explore the Caoling Historic Trail be sure to hike this trail from northwest to southeast. This means you’ll be hiking from Gongliao District in New Taipei City to Dali Township in Yilan County. There are plenty of great reasons for that. 

如果大家要探索草嶺古道,我們的建議是從西北方新北市貢寮區開始,向東南方的宜蘭縣大里鄉前進,原因如下:

Despite Dali having good public transportation connection with a train station right in town, the trail head in Gongliao is not located close to any public transit services. When finishing a hike, it’s preferred to simply jump onto transit and head home.

首先,新北市貢寮端的步道起點並沒有任何穩定或是有固定班表的公共交通服務,而宜蘭端的步道尾端不遠處就有大里遊客中心以及大里火車站,你可以在完成徒步旅行後休息一下看好火車班表,直接跳上交通工具然後回家。

Another good reason relates to the general vibe at your final destination. Completing this hike in Dali is leaps and bounds better than completing. While you could continue on to Fulong hiking from Yiland to Gongliao, it is partially on a busy road and its not the most comfortable experience. We prefer to finish our hikes with a place to relax, wind down and grab some snacks, drinks etc.

另一個很好的原因是與宜蘭大里端最終目的地的總體氛圍和設施有關,當然您也可以選擇繼續沿著福隆從宜蘭走回貢寮,但此步道部分位於繁忙的道路上,並不是最舒適的體驗。相信大家都跟我們一樣更喜歡在一個地方放鬆並享用一些小吃、飲料等來結束我們充實的健行之旅。

Finally, climbing the final ascent along the Caoling Historic Trail reveals a large viewing deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the rugged east coast and Turtle Island in the distance. This is definitely a view you want to finish with. 

最後,在草嶺古道宜蘭大里端的最後一段路程中會看到一個大型觀景台,可以俯瞰太平洋、崎嶇的東海岸和遠處的龜山島,絕對值得花一點時間駐足在此享受美景後再慢慢走到步道尾端。

Crested Serpent Eagles are frequently seen soaring the skies around Gongliao’s foot hills and valleys

Getting Started on The Caoling Historic Trail / 草嶺古道攻略秘笈

With our Parkbus trips, the bus drops us off about 1.6km from Yuanwangkeng Water Park. Large buses can’t access this trail, so the drop off point is actually right on the side of the County Road 2 (台2丙線). The first 20 minutes of this hike are along a single lane, paved road. This area has an abundance of soaring Crested-Serpent Eagles in the wintertime (January to March) as the raptors love scouting for meals along the river beds and flatlands. While not particularly scenic, it is a nice introduction to the countryside of Gongliao. This road is in fact part of the Caoling Historic Trail. 

若你跟著Parkbus一起探索草嶺古道,由於巴士無法開到草嶺古道的入口,我們的巴士會在距離遠望坑親水公園約1.6km處(台2丙道路上)讓我們下車,因此這次的健行活動前20分鐘會沿著一條單車道鋪設的道路行走到草嶺古道入口。該地區在冬季(1 月至 3 月)有大量翱翔的鳳頭蛇鷹,這些猛禽喜歡在河床和平原上尋找食物,雖然不是特別風景,但這也是在貢寮區一個特別的景色。

There is one public washroom available for guests at about the 10 minute mark. Continue along this paved road for a short 50m or so after the public washrooms and you can connect down closer to the river. It’s not very long, but it changes the scenery up a bit. 

下車走大約10分鐘後會有一個公共廁所可供大家使用,繼續沿著這條鋪好的道路繼續行駛50m左右可以連接到更靠近河流的地方,預告著今天真正的主角草嶺古道即將現身。

Once you have walked through Yuanwangkeng Riverside Park 遠望坑親水公園, you will cross over a small stone arched bridge. Here the trail narrows, but is still on a small road. After about 50m, you’ll see the trail marker on your left, leading you onto the more proper trail that many are likely envisioning when it comes to a “Historic Trail”. 

穿過遠望坑親水公園後會經過一座小石拱橋,這之後在變窄的道路上繼續行走約50m就會看到左側的路牌,引導你進入大家趨之若鶩的古道:草嶺古道。

While the first 30 minutes is a scenic and enjoyable walk, the real beauty of this trail begins here. The rambling creek that runs along the stone trail here is really picturesque and sets the stage for a beautiful hike in Taiwan’s northern region.

在前30分鐘的路程你或許已經會覺得草嶺古道是一段優美且令人愉快的步道,但真正的美麗卻是從現在才開始,接著映入眼簾的是沿著石頭路蜿蜒、風景如畫的小溪,彷彿走入畫中。

Just after stepping off the paved road, the scene gets really beautiful.

Short sections of stairs and some slight inclines are really all hikers will deal with for this section of the trail. It provides a great opportunity to take focus away from the hike and onto the scenery and history around you. Information kiosks along the trail provide insight into the history and heritage of the trail and are well worth the stop to read.

緊接著迎來的是一小段樓梯和斜坡,沿路上的告示牌訴說著草嶺古道的歷史和故事,讓大家將注意力從大自然的鬼斧神工轉移到周圍的風景和歷史上,非常值得停下來閱讀。

The Caoling Historic Trail is actually the only pre-Qing Dynasty non-indigenous route that is still preserved today. Several years ago the Tourism Bureau and local stakeholders rediscovered the original routing of this trail and began revitalizing an ancient trail that was originally constructed 130 years ago to provide the only land link down the Northeast Coast from Tamsui to Yilan. The present trail is approximately 10 kilometers long and offers a pleasant hike of two to three hours.

草嶺古道實際上是目前台灣保存下來唯一「開發於清代前」且「非原住民開發」的路線,幾年前,旅遊局和當地居民重新發現了這條步道的原始路線,並開始振興這一條最初於130年前建造的古老步道,這條步道提供從淡水到宜蘭的東北海岸唯一的陸路。目前的步道長約10km,為大家提供兩到三個小時的愉快健行之旅。

One of only a few well maintained sections of stairs that make this hike very accessible for all hikers

After about a 30-40 minute hike, you will arrive at a second and last washroom facility along this trail before you reach the coast. There are raised benches and shaded gazebo to make this a perfect place to sit and relax for a short break. The trail is not strenuous, but you may just want to sit here and enjoy the mountain views.

步行大約 30-40 分鐘後,你將在到達宜蘭端海岸之前的第二個也是最後一個洗手間,如此之外還有長凳和涼亭,儘管這條步道並不需要耗費太多體力,你可以坐下來放鬆一下、欣賞風景。

Washroom and rest area at 5km marker of Caoling Historic Trail

Leaving the washroom / rest area, you continue along the signature stone path (take the time to appreciate how well maintained it is!) you begin your journey towards the east coast. The trail opens up here and only parts of this section of the trail is shaded. The tree coverage begins to disperse and you’ll find yourself walking between two large boulders covered in Silvergrass. You’ll see Qing dynasty inscriptions on large stones.

在離開洗手間/休息區,你繼續沿著石頭小路前往東海岸的旅程,從這裡開始步道的視野逐漸開闊,樹木覆蓋開始分散,只有小部分的路程覆蓋在樹陰下,不久後你會發現自己在兩塊被芒草覆蓋的巨石之間行走,仔細看石頭還可以發現清代的銘文。

One of the inscriptions has four Chinese characters meaning “Bravely Suppress the Wild Mists” and the other bears the single character “Tiger”. In Qing Dynasty times it was believed that the tiger controlled the winds. Both were ordered by the regional commander of imperial forces in Taiwan, and were meant to ward off the baleful influences of nature in this once-remote area. It is believed that these inscriptions were made on these rocks in 1867, nearly 150 years ago.

其中一處銘文有四個字:「雄鎮蠻煙」,另一處銘文有一個「虎」字,相傳是因為當時此地時常障霧,時任北巡劉明燈即在1867年實在這裡題下「雄鎮蠻煙」以鎮壓山魔。

From here you will arrive at the 桃源谷休息亭 viewing platform overlooking the east coast and Pacific Ocean. The coast views here are some of the best in Taiwan and are a perfect way to celebrate on a hike. You could sit here for hours (and many do) reading, chatting with friends or simply contemplating life. 

隨後你將會抵達桃源谷休息亭觀景台,可以俯瞰東海岸和太平洋,我們認為這裡的景色是台灣最好的,也是慶祝你完成這段旅程最完美的方式。你可以坐在這裡好幾個小時(相信我,很多人這樣做)閱讀、與朋友聊天或只是思考人生。

At this point in the hike you are only just over 2km from the coast and the town of Dali. You can continue to hike south along the scenic Taoyuan Valley Trail or head down the stone steps or paved roadway (car-free) down to the cafe and onwards to Dali. 

走到這裡代表你距離東海岸和大里鄉只有大約2km,在這裡你可以繼續沿著風景秀麗的桃源谷步道向南徒步旅行,或沿著石階和鋪好的道路下到咖啡廳,然後前往大里。

The tree coverage thins out as you approach the east coast of Taiwan.

The Taoyuan Valley Trail connects to the town of Daxi and offers some of the most scenic coastal hiking in East Asia. It’s well worth hiking at some point if you don’t get a chance to combine it with the Caoling Historic Trail.

桃源谷步道與宜蘭縣頭城鎮的大溪里相連,在這裡可以眺望東亞最優美的沿海路線,若你之後有機會回訪草嶺古道,我們十分建議你完成這段步道。

Hiking down to the cafe, frequent stunning views are seen as you weave your way down the mountain towards the coast. With Turtle Island ever in the distance, take your time and enjoy this easy hiking. 

另一條是徒步到大里鄉的咖啡館,沿著山路向海岸前進時,可以看到壯麗的景色,也可以看到遠邊的龜山島。我們建議你慢慢來,享受這次輕鬆的徒步旅行。

Beautiful Silvergrass waves in the winds off the Pacific Ocean

Arriving in Dali, many hikers stop in at the food vendors set up out front of the Dali Temple 大里天公廟 and head inside the Dali Visitor Center that offers really insightful interpretation the local culture and ecology.

抵達大里後,許多遊客會在大里天公廟前的攤販停下來逛逛或是吃點東西,然後前往大里遊客中心,對當地文化和生態進行真正深入的了解。


Silvergrass Festival / 芒草季

If you hike this trail in the winter, between December and February, you’ll have the chance to experience the area’s beautiful waving meadows of Silvergrass. In fact, there is an annual Silvergrass Festival and established in 2015 is the Old Caoling Trail Silver Grass Center. 

如果你在冬季(12 月至 2 月)之間走這條步道,你將有機會體驗這邊最知名、最美麗的的芒草海,每年冬天也都會有芒草季,2015年也成立了草嶺古道芒草中心。

Waving Silvergrass seen during the winter months. Image courtesy of NECoast

This government building has four thematic areas and showcases Taiwans’ variety of silver grasses. Visitors can also learn about Caoling’s geology and the insects, animals and plants that may be found along Caoling Historic Trail. The center also demonstrates how silver grass has been used in everyday life by local and indigenous peoples, in terms of food, clothing, housing, and transport. 

這座芒草中心有四大主題區,展示了台灣各種不同的芒草,遊客可以了解草嶺古道地區的地質情況以及草嶺古道沿線可能發現的昆蟲、動物和植物。中心還展示了當地居民如何在日常生活中使用芒草,包括食物、衣服、住房和交通。

If you’re interested in visiting Caoling Historic Trail, be sure to check out Parkbus Taiwan’s schedule for future trips or contact us to put together a custom tour for you.

若你有興趣想要跟我們一同前往草嶺古道,快來查看近期我們的行程,或是來客製你專屬的旅程

Published by Parkbus Taiwan

Parkbus Taiwan is a solutions-oriented tourism initiative aimed at connecting city to nature through reliable, reservable and responsible transportation options.

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